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1 ATR IN KEY THESES: SUMMARY OF CRITICAL POINTS ON THE STUDY OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS “Africans are civilized to the marrow of their bones! The idea of the barbaric Negro is a European invention.” (Leo Frobenius, German Africanist) “If archaeologists are correct in believing that the first human beings came from Africa, then it stands to reason that the first religions also originated there… It is possible that, as the earliest humans slowly migrated to other continents of the world, they carried with them religious ideas and practices that originated in Africa.” Robert M. Baum, “Indigenous Religious Traditions” in Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, A Concise Introduction to World Religions. (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 15-17. “Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt… There can be no doubt that the Colchians are an Egyptian race... My own conjectures were founded, first, on the fact that they are black-skinned and have woolly hair… but further and more especially, on the circumstance that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians, are the only nations who have practised circumcision from the earliest times.” Herodotus, History, Book II (paragraphs 50,51,52 and 104)

“Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses and brought him up as her own son. So Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became a man with power both in his speech and his actions.” (The Jerusalem Bible, Acts 7, 17-22). “African wisdom is not merely a convenient expression; it is something that exists. It is a collection of unique precepts that enable the people of traditional Africa to settle as harmoniously as possible the disputes that mar human relationships.” Balandier, Georges and Maquet, Jacques, Dictionary of Black African Civilization. (New York: Leon Amiel, ); p.336. “Undoubtedly prompted by the demon of literature, the ethnographers who tell us of African trances emphasize their brutality. But African mysticism has its nuances, half-tones, and melodic lines. Among the Yoruba and Fon there is an entire civilization of spirituality comparable to that of the wood carvings and bronzes of Benin…”

Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press).

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS (BIG PICTURE)

You will find here, in 5 sections, an excellent summary of knowledge pertaining to African traditional religions Here is all that is necessary for a better understanding of African traditional religions

SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION: GENERAL EPISTEMOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK (WHAT, WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW, HOW MANY?) Part 0. How many practitioners of ATR? (see section II on the religious landscape) Part 1. Official recognition of indigenous or “pagan” religions in the world

1.1 Recognition by various governments in Europe, Africa and the Americas 1.2. The rise of religious tolerance and the recognition of other religions: some fundamental guiding principles of religious tolerance

Part 2. Why Study Africa? Why does Africa matter to us? 2.0. Summary of the fundamental reasons for studying Africa 2.1. Cradle of humanity

2.2. Implications of “cradle of humanity theory” for civilization and world religions 2.2.1. African contribution to world civilization and religion in general 2.2.2. African contribution to Western Civilization and Spirituality 2.2.2.1. Contribution to the Religions and Spiritual Values of the West or Europe 2.2.2.1.1. Contribution to ancient religions of Greece and Rome 2.2.2.1.2. Contribution to the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity 2.2.2.2. Contribution to Western civilization 2.2.2.2.0. Western civilization in general 2.2.2.2.1. African contribution to the Roman Empire 2.2.2.2.2. Contribution to ancient Greece 2.2.2.2.2. 1. Greek religion (Herodotus) 2.2.2.2.2. 2. Greek Philosophy and Science 2.2.2.2.2. 3. Democracy, Human Rights, and the “Rule of Law” 2.3. The Egyptian Problem and Eurocentrism: Educational Propaganda and Miseducation. 2.3.1.The Egyptian Problem 2.3.2. Foreign Stimulus Ideology and The Zimbabwe Gambling

3 Part 3. How to properly study ATR? 3.1. Overcoming Miseducation and the colonial educational propaganda

of Eurocentric scholarship 3.2. Historical context and Epistemological Framework 3.2.1. Principles of Religious Tolerance and the Recognition of Traditional Religions 3.2.2. The “Cradle of Humanity” theory and its implications for world civilizations

and religions 3.2. 3. Beyond Colonialism: African Renaissance, Multiculturalism and the Revival

of Traditional Religions 3.2. 4. Revisiting the Sources of Knowledge 3.3. Outline of Key points in the study of ATR 3.4. African Moral Values 3.4.1. Major African moral values (Virtues) 3.4.2. Recognition of African moral qualities and spiritual values

SECTION 2. RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE OF AFRICA AND THE WORLD

Part 1. Practitioners of ATR in Africa and the World Part 2. Religious Landscape of Africa and the World

SECTION 3. AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS IN 80 KEY THESES SECTION 4. CHRONOLOGY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AFRICAN RELIGIONS Part 1. Chronology and General Bibliography Part 2. Thematic Bibliography

I. General History of Africa II. African Traditional Religions: Important Works III. Sacred Texts of Africa

1. Sacred Texts of African Traditional Religions 2. Sacred Texts of Ancient Egypt 3. African Bibles

IV. Christianity as an African Religion V. The Egyptian Problem VI. Colonialism, Intellectual Racism, and Genocide

SECTION 5. MISCELLANEOUS DATA

4 DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION: GENERAL EPISTEMOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK (WHAT, WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW, HOW MANY?) Part 0. How many practitioners of ATR? (see section II on the religious landscape) Part 1. Official recognition of indigenous or “pagan” religions in the world 1.1. Recognition by various governments in Europe, Africa and the Americas

1. 2. The rise of religious tolerance and the recognition of other religions: some fundamental guiding principles of religious tolerance

- 1. Impact of the UN declaration of human rights, article 18 - 2. Change of attitude among Western scholars (Durkheim, Huston Smith) - 3. Paradigm shift in Christian Consciousness - 3.1. Biblical Foundation of Religious Pluralism - 3.2. Revolutionary views in the Catholic Church (Councils, Popes, Theologians)

o Jean Danielou o Nostra Aetate (Vatican II) o Pope John-Paul II o Schillebeeckx o Jacque Dupuis o Panikkar PROTESTANTS o Cantwell Smith

- 4. Islamic attitude toward other religions (Koran, Muhammad, Ibn Arabi, Rumi) - 5. Buddhist attitude toward other religions - 6. Hindu vision of other religions - 7. African view of religious tolerance (Wole Soyinka, Abimbola, Bujo, Mazrui,)

5 Part 2. Why Study Africa? Why does Africa matter to us? 2.0. Summary of the fundamental reasons for studying Africa 2.0.1. A message from the Rig Veda 2.0.2. Indigenous religions are the majority of world religions 2.0.3. Terence’s vision 2.0.4. Huston’s Smith’s challenge 2.0.5. George C. Bond (to be human is to be African) 2.0.6. Robert Baum (the message of Archaeology) 2.0.7. African contribution to the World

o African contribution to Humanity o African contribution to Western civilization

(science, philosophy, democracy, indigenous Greek and Roman religions) o African contribution to the Bible, Judaism and Christianity

2. 1. Cradle of humanity Text 1. Jackson Spielvogel Text 2. Robert Fisher (American missionary) Text 3. A summary of the controversy by Stephen Howe Text 4. A summary of the theory by John Reader (Out of Africa) Text 5. Out Of Africa' Theory Boost (Max Planck Society)

2.2. Implications of “cradle of humanity theory” for civilization and world religions

2.2.1. African contribution to world civilization and religion in general - 1. Robert Baum - 2. Robert Fisher - 3. Bernard Comrie, Stephen Matthews, and Maria Polinsky (Linguistics) - 4. Jared Diamond

2.2.2. African contribution to Western Civilization and Spirituality 2.2.2.1. Contribution to the Religions and Spiritual Values of the West or Europe 2.2.2.1.1. Contribution to ancient religions of Greece and Rome

- 1. Herodotus - 2. Isis

2.2.2.1.2. Contribution to the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity

- 1. Isis in Europe - 2. Egyptian origin of Monotheism (Assmann) - 3. Testimony of the Bible - 4. Testimony of Scholars of world religions - 5. Jared Diamond - 6. Egypt and Israel - 7. Testimony of Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI

6 2.2.2.2. Contribution to Western civilization 2.2.2.2.0. Western civilization in general

- 1. Jackson J. Spielvogel, - 2. Guy MacLean Rogers, - 3. M.C.F. Volney, - 4. Egyptian origin of our Calendar

2.2.2.2.1. African contribution to the Roman Empire (African Popes and African Roman Emperors, African intellectuals)

2.2.2.2.2. Contribution to ancient Greece

(Greek miracle mythology and the Egyptian problem): African origin of science, philosophy and democracy

2.2.2.2.2. 1. Greek religion (Herodotus)

2.2.2.2.2. 2. Greek Philosophy and Science - 1.Bertrand Russell (Greek miracle ideology) - 2. Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins (Greek myth, no Greek miracle) - 3. Diané Collinson (Greek myth, no Greek miracle) - 4. Serge Sauneron (Greek myth, no Greek miracle) - 5. The myth of Greek Rationality (Martin Bernal)

2.2.2.2.2. 3. Democracy, Human Rights, and the “Rule of Law”

-1.Human Rights controversy -2. Egyptian origin of Democratic ideals, human rights and the rule of law -3. Women’s Rights in ancient Egypt and the rest of black Africa

2.3. The Egyptian Problem and Eurocentrism: Educational Propaganda and Miseducation. 2.3.1.The Egyptian Problem

- 1.1. Defining the Egyptian problem - 1.2. The Race of ancient Egyptians: Were they really African? - 1.3. The Controversy surrounding the Egyptian problem

2.3.2. Foreign Stimulus Ideology and The Zimbabwe Gambling

7 Part 3. How to properly studey ATR? 3.1. Overcoming Miseducation and the colonial educational propaganda of Eurocentric scholarship Miseducation and Eurocentric educational propaganda 3.1.1. Prejudice 3.1.2. Religious prejudice and patriotic propaganda 3.1.3. Civilization and Greek miracle propaganda 3.1.4. Human Rights ideology (Thomas Pakenham, Arthur Schlesinger) 3.1.5. Feel good education 3.1.6. Chinua Achebe 3.1.7. Max Weber 3.1.8. Karl Marx 3.1.9. Joseph Conrad 3.1.10.1. Jahn Janheinz and “the real Negro” mythology 3.1.10.2. Frobenius 3.1.11. Cheikh Anta Diop 3.1.12. Martin Luther King, Jr. 3.1.13.Malcolm X 3.1.14. Basil Davidson 3.1.15. Connah 3.1.16. Richard Wright 3.1.17. Jean-Paul Sartre 3.1.18. The Miseducation of the Negro and pauperisme anthropologique 3.1.19. Kant 3.1.20. Rene Descartes 3.2. Historical Context and Epistemological Framework 3.2.1. Principles of Religious Tolerance and the Recognition of Traditional Religions (See Introduction, part 1) 3.2.2. The “Cradle of Humanity” theory and its implications for world civilizations and religions (See Introduction, part 2) 3.2. 3. Beyond Colonialism: African Renaissance, Multiculturalism and the Revival of Traditional Religions 3.2. 4. Revisiting the Sources of Knowledge

8 3. 3. Outline of Key points in the study of ATR

I. Misconceptions about ATR (Hegelian Paradigm yesterday and today): colonization of knowledge

II. Persecution of ATR and African Genocide (Slave trade and colonialism) III. Recognition of the spiritual values of ATR (Decolonization of knowledge) IV. Origin and Evolution of ATR V. Sources for a genuine understanding of ATR VI. Major centers of production of academic knowledge about ATR and

Major authors and works (African and Western scholarship) VII. ATR in Africa and the Americas (continent and Diaspora) VIII. Population (how many people and what kind of people practice ATR) IX. Why does ATR matter? (ATR’ contribution to World Spirituality) X. Content of the religion

3.4. African Moral Values 3.4.1. Major African moral values (Virtues) 3.4.2. Recognition of African moral qualities and spiritual values SECTION 2. RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE OF AFRICA AND THE WORLD Part 1. Practitioners of ATR in Africa and the World Part 2. Religious Landscape of Africa and the World SECTION 3. AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS IN 80 KEY THESES THESIS 1-11: GENERAL INTRODUCTION

We identify societies with their best achievements (guiding principle for research) Recognition of African civilization and its values Africa: origin of humankind, civilization and religion

THESIS 12-32: AFRICA ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND , CIVILIZATION AND RELIGION THESIS 33-49: SPIRITUAL VALUES (holistic approach, religious tolerance,…) THESIS 50-80: HEGELIAN PARADIGM THESES IN DETAIL THESIS 1-11: GENERAL INTRODUCTION Thesis 1: MacGaffey : We identify our society with its best achievement Thesis 2: Robert Baum: If Archaeologists are correct… Thesis 3: African contribution to Judaism and Christianity

- Acts 7:17-22 - Akhenaton and the origin of Monotheism (Assmann)

African Civilization Thesis 4: Leo Frobenius (Africans civilized.. barbaric negro a European invention) Thesis 5: Roger Bastide (an entire civilization of spirituality) Thesis 6; Georges Balandier, Jacques Maquet: African wisdom is not merely a

Convenient expression.

9

Thesis 7: ATR source of the values of African civilization Thesis 8: Africans notoriously religious (John Mbiti) Thesis 9: No opposition between Bible and ATR as God’s will for the salvation

of Africans (Kalilombe) Thesis 10: ATR willed by God (Kofi Opoku) Thesis 11: ATR’s resistance to Christianity THESIS 12-32: AFRICAN ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND , CIVILIZATION AND RELIGION Thesis 12: Cantwell Smith: those who believe in the unity of humankind… Thesis 13: All humans from Africa and European civilization from Egypt (Jackson Spielvogel) Thesis 14: if the foundations of Western civilization were multicultural (MacLean Rogers) Thesis 15: Origin of humankind and language (Bernard Comrie) Thesis 16: Origin of humankind and religion (Robert Fisher, American missionary) Thesis 17: African origin of Modern Humans (Max Planck Society) Thesis 18: Africa and the Bible

- African origin of the languages of the Bible and the Koran (Jared Diamond) - Moses the Egyptian, and African origin of monotheism (Jan Assmann)

Thesis 19: Herodotus (African contribution to the religions of Europe) Thesis 20: Isis (Dr. R.E. Witt) Thesis 21: Testimony of the Bible on Moses (Exodus 1-2; Acts 7) Thesis 22: Egypt and Israel (in The Legacy of Egypt, by J.R. Harris) Thesis 23-25: Views by scholars of world religions on the contribution of Egypt to Judaism and Christianity Thesis 26: Testimony of Pope John-Paul II Thesis 27: Early Christian theology and literature by African writers (Mudimbe) Thesis 28: Christianity has never really been a Western religion (Alister E. McGrath) Thesis 29: Africa more Christian than Europe?

- When Africa evangelizes Europe (Gerrie Ter Haar, How God Became African) - Africa is more Christian than Europe (Niall Ferguson) - Jenkins, Mbiti, J. Peel

Thesis 30-31: Greek miracle Thesis 30: Greek Miracle (Robert C. Solomon) Thesis 31: Serge Sauneron’s Priests of ancient Egypt. and African contribution to Western Art (Picasso,..) Thesis 32: African conception of God and no need for Temple for God THESIS 33-49: SPIRITUAL VALUES (holistic approach, religious tolerance,…) Thesis 33: Testimony of Gerhardus Cornelis Oosthuizen Thesis 34: ATR and religious tolerance Thesis 35: Religious Tolerance (Abimbola) Thesis 36: Abimbola Thesis 37: African Ethics and the centrality of silence, mysticism, and asceticism (p.138) Thesis 39 (Pope John Paul II praises Africans “priceless human qualities”) Thesis 40 Yoruba Ethic (Testimony of Thomas Bowen, American missionary) Thesis 41: Iwa Lesin Thesis 42 Meru Prayer and attitude toward foreigners Thesis 44 Cosmotheandric nature of African Ethic Thesis 45: Incest Thesis 46: Major Moral taboos (Kaoze and Tshiamalenga Ntumba)

10 Thesis 47: Proverbs Thesis 48: Sage King doctrine (pp. 149-154) Thesis 49 African vision of wisdom THESIS 50-80: CHALLENGING THE HEGELIAN PARADIGM Thesis 50-52: on the ideology of idolatry Thesis 53: The Myth of Polytheism (Bowen) Thesis 54: Fisher and AAR on the exclusion of ATR Thesis 55: Jahn Janheinz and the invention of “the Real African” (and Alexis de Tocqueville) Thesis 56: Max Weber Thesis 57: Joseph Conrad Thesis 58: Chinua Achebe Thesis 59: Malcolm X and European educational propaganda Thesis 60: Carter G. Woodson: the Mis-education of the Negro Thesis 61: Richard Wright Thesis 62: Sartre (Colonial education and the manufacturing of a token elite) Thesis 63: the concept of Anthropological pauperization (Pauperisme anthropologique) Thesis 64-65: Basil Davidson Thesis 66: Graham Connah (Precolonial civilization and the foreign-stimulus mythology) Thesis 67: The Egyptian problem and the Zimbabwe Gambling Thesis 68-69: African Rationality (Science and Technology) Thesis 70-71 Overcoming Colonial Christianity Thesis 72: Eboussi Boulaga Thesis 73: V.Y. Mudimbe Thesis 74: Mveng Engelberg Thesis 75: Tissa Balasuriya and Mariology; Dominique Zahan, Robert Baum Thesis 76: Kajsa Ekholm Friedman and the myth of “traditional Africa” Thesis 77: the concept of Primitivism: an obsolete mystification Thesis 78: Beyond Animism, Paganism and Fetishism Thesis 79: Dianne M. Stewart (onVodou and evil sorcery) Thesis 80: Evans-Pritchard reply to the “religion of fear” label SECTION 4. CHRONOLOGY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AFRICAN RELIGIONS Part 1. Chronology and General Bibliography Part 2. Thematic Bibliography I. General History of Africa II. African Traditional Religions: Important Works III. Sacred Texts of Africa

1. Sacred Texts of African Traditional Religions 2. Sacred Texts of Ancient Egypt 3. African Bibles

IV. Christianity as an African Religion V. The Egyptian Problem VI. Colonialism, Intellectual Racism, and Genocide SECTION 5. MISCELLANEOUS DATA SINCE THIS FILE IS LONG WE BEGIN WITH A SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS, THEN WE PROCEED WITH A MORE DETAILED SURVEY OF KEY THESES

11 The fundamental question any student or scholar needs to ask when studying Africa is the question of origin. Who created this knowledge about Africa that we find in our libraries and our textbooks. Who wrote these books and why? In which historical context and from what perspective did these authors build their knowledge about Africa How accurate is this knowledge. Can the authors be trusted? So what extent? It is a fundamental fact that knowledge about Africa is largely produced by outsiders, often scholars from dominant colonial powers in the context of colonialism and neo-colonialism. It is in this colonial context that one has to understand the nature of the kind of knowledge produced on Africa by Western universities, researchers, explorers, and missionaries. In many ways, this is a colonized and colonizing knowledge tailored to serve the economic, political, cultural, intellectual, religious and moral interests of colonial powers. And to Africans much of this knowledge is a machine of alienation and oppression. And most textbooks promote miseducation instead of properly educating students and the large public. Much of what is written on Africa is pseudo-scientific hocus pocus, and emerges as “manufactured barbarism,” sheer invention of otherness, a collection of distortions, absurd reconstructions, unsupportable hypotheses and conjectures, wild speculations, suppositions and assumptions, inappropriate analogies, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations, and, in some cases, just “plain nonsense”. But let us listen to the testimony of a British scholar and a German scholar: The rise of the West to global supremacy by the path of empire and economic pre-eminence is one of the keystones of our historical knowledge. It helps us to order our view of the past. In many standard accounts, it appears all but inevitable. It was the high road of history: all the alternatives were byroads or dead ends. When Europe’s empires dissolved, they were replaced by new post-colonial states, just as Europe itself became a part of the ‘West’ – a world-spanning league under American leadership…. The extraordinary course of the African scramble raises a whole series of questions. Why in the first place did the European governments believe that they had the right to propose rules for the grand larceny of Africa? Much of the answer must lie in their hostile view of African states and cultures… It was widely assumed that the interior states were a chaos of barbarism, where slavery thrived and civilization had stalled. (But was their negative view of Africa based on facts, or on racism or ignorance or a combination of both?). Little was known about the African interior, and most of what was reflected the self-serving bias of the missionaries, explorers and dubious businessmen who had made a career there. A good case can be made that much of what was reported by travelers as fact about the ‘dark continent’ was the imaginary product of minds fuddled by drink, fuelled by drugs (the cocktail of medications to ward off disease) and filled with dreams of glory and gold. (…) The frontier interests were extremely adept at the art of lobbying through their backers at home. They played upon religious and humanitarian feelings, as well as patriotic emotion, and commercial greed. They touched a raw nerve of economic anxiety in an era of falling prices that lasted into the mid-1890s. They exploited to the full the new means of publicity in the popular press (like Le Petit Journal, with its 1 million readers). Since they usually controlled what information there was, their version of events was often hard to challenge. From John Darwin, After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400 – 2000. (London: Bloomsbury Press: 2008); pp.313-314 John Darwin is a university lecturer and a fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford (England)

12 “Africans are civilized to the marrow of their bones! The idea of the barbaric Negro is a European invention.” (Leo Frobenius, German Africanist) Pitfalls in the Study of African Religions (by John Mbiti) It needs to be emphasized that African religions are historically older than both Christianity and Islam. The world has now begun to take African traditional religions and philosophy seriously. It was only around the middle of the twentieth century that these subjects had begun to be studied properly and respectfully as an academic discipline in their own right. During the preceding one hundred years African religions were described by European and American missionaries and by students of anthropology, sociology and comparative religion. It is from these writers that we have most of our written information, although some of them had never been to Africa and only a few had done serious field study of of these religions.In the early part of that period, the academic atmosphere was filled with the theory of evolution which was applied in many fields of study. It is this theory which colours many of the earlier descriptions, interpretations and explanations of African religions. We shall consider briefly some of the early approaches before coming to the present situation. The early Western approaches and attitudes. One of the dominating attitudes in this early period was the assumption that African beliefs, cultural characteristics and even food, were all borrowed from the outside world. German scholars pushed this assumption to the extreme, and have not all abandoned it completely to this day. All kinds of theories and explanations were put forward on how the different religious traits had reached African societies from the Middle East or Europe. It is true that Africa has always had contact with the outside world, but religious and cultural influences from this contact cannot have flowed only one way: there was always a give-and-take process. Furthermore, African soil is not so infertile that it cannot produce its own new ideas. This game of hunting for outside sources is dying out, and there are writers who now argue that in fact it was Africa which exported ideas, cultures and civilization to the outside world. But surely a balance between these two extremes is more reasonable. These earlier descriptions and studies of African religions left us with terms which are inadequate, derogatory and prejudicial. They clearly betray the kind of attitude and interpretation dominant in the mind of those who invented or propagated the different theories about traditional religions. Animism is a word derived from the Latin anima which means breath, breath of life, and hence carries with it the idea of the soul or spirit. This term has become the most popular designation for African religions and is found in many writings even this day. It was invented by the English anthropologist E.B. Tylor, who used it first in an article in 1866 and later in his book, Primitive Culture (1871). For Tylor the basic definition of religion was the ‘belief in spirit beings’. He saw the anima as a shadowy vaporous image animating the object it occupied. He thought that the so-called ‘primitive peoples’ imagined the anima to be capable of leaving the body and entering other men, animals or things; and continuing to live after death. Pursuing the theory further, Tylor went on to say that such

13 ‘primitive’ men considered every object to have its own soul, thus giving rise to countless spirits in the universe. Tylor’s ideas were popularized by his disciples. Since then, the term animism has come to be widely used in describing traditional religions of Africa and other parts of the world. In an atmosphere filled with the theory of evolution, the notion of countless spirits opened the way for the idea of religious evolution. This led on to the theory that single spirits existed over each major department of nature. For example, all the spirits of the rivers would have one major spirit in charge of them, and the same for trees, rocks, lakes and so on. Accordingly, this gave man the idea of many gods (polytheism), which in turn evolved further to the stage of one supreme God over all the other departmental spirits. This type of argument and interpretation places African religions at the bottom of the supposed line of religious evolution. It tells us that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are at the top, since they are monotheistic. The theory fails to take into account the fact that another theory equally argues that man’s religious development began with a monotheism and moved towards polytheism and animism. We need not concern ourselves unduly here with either theory. We can only comment that African peoples are aware of all these elements of religion: God, spirits and divinities are part of the traditional body of beliefs. Christianity and Islam acknowledge the same type of spiritual beings. The theory of religious evolution, in whichever direction, does not satisfactorily explain or interpret African religions. Animism is not an adequate description of these religions and it is better for that term to be abandoned once and for all. In classifying the religions of the world, we hear that ‘redemptive religions’ like Christianity, Judaism and Islam incorporate into their teaching the doctrine of the soul’s redemption in the next world. ‘Morality religions’ like Shintoism and the teachings of Confucius lay a great emphasis on moral considerations. Finally, ‘primitive religions’ are those whose followers are described by some writers as ‘savage’, ‘primitive,’ and lacking in either imagination or emotion. Of course the word ‘primitive’ in its Latin root primus has no bad connotations as such, but the way it is applied to African religions shows a lack of respect and betrays derogatory undertones. It is extraordinary that even in our day, fellow man should continue to be described as ‘savage’ and lacking in emotion or imagination. This approach to the study of African religion will not go far, neither can it qualify as being scientifically or theologically adequate. Some traditional religions are extremely complex and contain elements which shed a lof of light on the study of other religious traditions of the world. In his book, Principles of Sociology (1885), the anthropologist Herbert Spencer used the phrase ancestor worship to describe speculation that ‘savage’ peoples associated the spirit of the dead with certain objects, and in order to keep on good terms with the spirits of their ancestors, people made sacrifices to them. Other writers have borrowed this term and applied it almost to anything that Africans do in the way of religious ceremonies. Many books speak of ‘ancestor worship’ to describe African religions. Certainly it cannot be denied that the departed occupy an important place in African religiosity; but it is wrong to interpret traditional religions simply in terms of ‘worshipping the ancestors’. The departed, whether parents, brothers, sisters or children, form part of the family, and must therefore be kept in touch with their surviving relatives. Libation and the giving of food to the departed are token of fellowship, hospitality and respect; the drink and food so given are symbols of family continuity and contact. ‘Worship’ is the wrong word to apply in this situation, and Africans themselves know very well that they are not ‘worshipping’ the departed members of their

14 family. It is blasphemous, therefore, to describe these acts of family relationships as ‘worship’. Furthermore, African religions do not end at the level of family rites of libation and food offerings. They are deeper and more comprehensive than that. To see them only in terms of ‘ancestor worship’ is to isolate a single element, which in some societies is of little significance, and to be blind to many other aspects of religion. Western missionaries, anthropologists, journalists and scholars who keep harping about ‘ancestor worship’ should look at or consider cemeteries in their home countries, and see how many flowers, candles, and even photographs of the dead are put on the graves of relatives and friends. That is even more extreme than anything we find in Africa and I do not know what form of ‘worship’ to call this beloved custom in the West African people do not feel ashamed to remember their departed members of the family. Remembering them is not worshipping them. Others writers have tried to study or refer to African religions in terms of magic. Some consider magic to have evolved before religion, as man’s attempt to manipulate the unseen world. When man failed to control natural objects and phenomena by means of magic, he then resigned himself to forces beyond him, which in turn led to a belief in God as the Source of all power. As such, magic is considered to be the mother of religion. Since every African society has both magic and religion, it was inevitable to conclude that Africans had not evolved beyond the stage of detaching religion from magic. Some writers even tell us that Africans have no religion at all and only magic. We shall devote a whole chapter to this subject of magic, and there is an increasing amount of good literature on it. We need here only comment briefly. A careful examination of the situation in African societies shows that magic is part of the religious background, and it is not easy to separate the two. Some of the ceremonies, for example in rainmaking and preventing of epidemics, incorporate both religion and magic. So long as magical acts are beneficial to the community involved they are acceptable and people may even pay a great deal of their wealth in order to secure such help. This gives no contradiction to their beliefs. Magic belongs to the religious mentality of African peoples. But religion is not magic, and magic cannot explain religion. Religion is greater than magic, and only an ignorant outsider could imagine that African religions are nothing more than magic. Other terms employed to describe African religions include Dynamism, Totemism, Fetishism and Naturism. We need not go into them here. These and the previous terms show clearly how little the outside world has understood African religions. Some of the terms are being abandoned as more knowledge comes to light. But the fact remains that African religions and philosophy have been subjected to a great deal of misinterpretation, misrepresentation and misunderstanding. They have been despised, mocked and dismissed as primitive and underdeveloped. One needs only to look at the earlier titles and accounts to see the derogatory language used, prejudiced descriptions given and false judgments passed upon these religions. In missionary circles they have been condemned as superstition, satanic, devilish and hellish. In spite of all these attacks, traditional religions have survived, they dominate the background of African peoples, and must be reckoned with even in the middle of modern changes. Mbiti, John. African Religions and Philosophy. (Portsmouth,Heinemann, 1990); pp.-10

15 GUIDING PERSPECTIVE OF THIS FILE (20 KEY POINTS) 1. 1.1. A famous British historian, Niall Ferguson, declared the following: “Africa is in fact a more Christian continent than Europe. There are now, for example, more Anglicans in Nigeria than in England.” Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power. (New York: Basic Books, 2004); p.134. (First published in 2002 in London) 1.2. The famous British historian and emeritus Professor of Theology at the University of London reminds us that near the end of his life in 1889, Mackay of Uganda remarked perceptively, “In former years the universal aim was to steal the African from Africa. Today the determination of Europe is to steal Africa from the African.” Adrian Hastings, The Church in Africa, 1450-1950. The Oxford History of the Christian Church (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1994) 1.3. “Blacks have a 375-year history on this American continent:

245 involving slavery, 100 involving discrimination,

and only 30 involving anything else” (Roger Wilkins, African American Historian) 2. Graham Connah on Precolonial African civilization Reflecting on the continuing exclusion of Africa from World History, Graham Connah made the following observation: “There were cities and states in tropical Africa long before the colonial ambitions of European peoples transformed that continent. The appearance of such cities and states was one of the most significant developments of tropical Africa’s history prior to the colonial experience. It is also a development that has had relatively little attention from world-wide scholarship, although there does exist a substantial specialist academic literature on the subject. Outside Africa itself there persists, amongst people in general, a deeply ingrained conviction that precolonial tropical Africa consisted only of scattered villages of mud or grass huts, their inhabitants subsisting on shifting cultivation or semi-nomadic pastoralism. What is more surprising, and more disturbing, is that this sort of stereotype seems also to have had some effect upon scholars considering the emergence of cities and states as global phenomena. For example, in 1978 the Wolfson Lectures at the University of Oxford were devoted to the subject ‘The Origins of Civilization’ but in their published version at least, they contained no discussion of African developments other than those in Egypt. At a more popular level, a recent book entitled The Encyclopedia of ancient civilizations(Cotterell, 1983) similarly excludes Africa (except, of course, for Egypt) although it does include West Asia, India, Europe, China, and America. Yet such a coverage is liberal indeed compared with what would have been acceptable thirty or forty years ago. Gordon Childe was perhaps the most important exponent of an academic tradition that saw the origins of civilization as

16 the origins of European culture. Glyn Daniel has described how he once asked Childe why he did not give more attention to the American civilizations. Childe’s answer was characteristically terse and to the point: ‘Never been there - peripheral and highly suspect’. Could it be that the continued exclusion of tropical Africa from general discussions of world civilization represents a survival of this sort of attitude ?… The emergence of urbanism and political centralization in the West African savanna has long been attributed to contact with the Mediterranean world, resulting from long- distance trade. Suspiciously, the origins of that trade have usually been dated to the period of the earliest historical sources that touch on the subject. Archaeology has until recently played a confirmatory, some might even say a subservient, role in the stock historical interpretation. It has been a case of so much historical information being available that archaeologists have failed to ask the sort of questions that they might have asked otherwise. As a result, the quality of the archaeological data available to shed light on the origins of cities and states in the West African savanna is poor. Fortunately, there have in recent years been some exceptions to this general rule. The work at Jenne is a notable example. Reviewing such new evidence, along with the older evidence obtained over the last eighty years or so, leads to questioning the long-accepted external-stimulus explanation.

In addition, it is possible that localized population pressures were stimulating social developments leading to urbanism. Such developments seem to have taken place before the advent of Islam, nevertheless, with the ideological support of a variety of probably animistic religions. Finally, although adequately dated evidence is very limited, it seems most likely that an extensive trading network existed within West Africa before the Arab trade across the Sahara was developed. The savanna towns were indeed 'ports' at the edge of the 'sea of sand', but they were ports with a vast trading hinterland that was already developed. After all, what ship would ever visit a port unless there was a chance of a cargo to collect?... It was in the second half of the fifteenth century AD that European sailors first set eyes on the southerly coast of West Africa... As the centuries went by, it was this coast that became known as 'The White Man's Grace': a name that to many proved to be no exaggeration. Yet it was neither altruism nor curiosity that tempted most Europeans to such a region, it was profit. The very name that they gave to different parts of this coast indicate their motives: 'The Grain(Pepper) Coast', 'The Ivory Coast', 'The Gold Coast', 'The Slave Coast'. For Europeans had quickly discovered that behind the coast itself lay a forested hinterland rich in resources, where the inhabitants were able and willing to trade on a considerable scale. Not only that, but those inhabitants lived in highly organized communities, some of which took on a size and density which left the visitors in no doubt about what they were dealing with.

These quotations have been deliberately selected from early in the history of European West African contact. This has been done because state development and urbanization in the West African forest have sometimes been written about as if they were developments resulting from that contact rather than pre-dating it. For instance, this is the impression given by Goody when he discusses what he calls the 'gun states of the forest'. Although there is no doubt that European seaborne trade did play an important part in the later development of the forest states and their towns and cities, historical sources suggest that some of them at least were in existence before that trade started. Graham Connah, African Civilizations: Precolonial cities and States in tropical Africa: an archaeological perspective , Cambridge University Press, 1987; pp. 6; 119-122

17 3. “African wisdom is not merely a convenient expression; it is something that exists. It is a collection of unique precepts that enable the people of traditional Africa to settle as harmoniously as possible the disputes that mar human relationships.” Balandier, Georges and Maquet, Jacques, Dictionary of Black African Civilization. (New York: Leon Amiel, ); p.336. 4. “Undoubtedly prompted by the demon of literature, the ethnographers who tell us of African trances emphasize their brutality. But African mysticism has its nuances, half-tones, and melodic lines. Among the Yoruba and Fon there is an entire civilization of spirituality comparable to that of the wood carvings and bronzes of Benin…Until recently African religious practices hid from foreigners one of their most subtle and engaging aspects, the one which, by its appearances and motivations, is related to what the “great” religions call mystical life. There have been numerous factors limiting the analysis of religious phenomena and preventing the “noninitiated” from attaining the “sacred.” The African was likened to the gentile for whom Christian revelation was lacking and who, because of this, was devoted to the worship of idols. African religion seemed devoid of nobility, elevation, and grandeur… However, patient and meticulous research has been necessary in order to realize that African spirituality does not cede anything to that of the great religions. In both cases the human being is in search of a sort of deliverance capable of transfiguring fhis terrestrial condition. Like the believer in the so-called superior religions, the African is not only content to implore the pardon or aid of the divinity or do express his gratitude to him. He aspires to have contact with his god, he wishes for the sight of the one he adores, he longs to become the Other through a transformation which he nevertheless wishes not to be radical….Moral life and mystical life, these two aspects of African spirituality, give it its proper dimensions. They constitute, so to speak, the supreme goal of the African soul, the objective towards which the individual strives with all his energy because he feels his perfection can only be completed and consummated if he masters and surpasses himself through divinity, indeed through the mastery of divinity itself…. African morals and ethics belong to a domain which Western researchers have scarcely explored. To be sure, they have not failed to note various aspects of the moral conduct of the Africans: fidelity, hospitality, sense of justice, love and respect for relatives and traditions, modesty surrounding relations between the sexes, unselfishness and self-sacrifice. These qualities of the African soul have also been observed in the vast field of oral literature often used by the people themselves for the education and moral formation of the young. Nevertheless, these observations have most often been buried by the investigators in the mass of conventional acts or else they have been arranged according to the perspective of Western culture, thus losing their African specificity. No one has ever truly concentrated on the ultimate scope of African ethics and morals. Yet it would have been relatively easy to perceive that the African valorizes above all the mastery of the self, making it, in fact, the foundation of his conduct. This “virtue” possesses an essential preliminary which is also the basis of African thought and philosophy.”

Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press). 5. “If archaeologists are correct in believing that the first human beings came from Africa, then it stands to reason that the first religions also originated there… It is possible

18 that, as the earliest humans slowly migrated to other continents of the world, they carried with them religious ideas and practices that originated in Africa.” Robert M. Baum, “Indigenous Religious Traditions” in Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, A Concise Introduction to World Religions. (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 15-17. 6. “Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt… There can be no doubt that the Colchians are an Egyptian race... My own conjectures were founded, first, on the fact that they are black-skinned and have woolly hair… but further and more especially, on the circumstance that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians, are the only nations who have practised circumcision from the earliest times.” Herodotus, History, Book II (paragraphs 50,51,52 and 104)

7.“Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses and brought him up as her own son. So Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became a man with power both in his speech and his actions.” (The Jerusalem Bible, Acts 7, 17-22). 8. “For three millennia, from the first dynasty around 3100 B.C.E. to the first centuries of the Common Era, when Egypt converted to Christianity, the rich and diverse elements of Egyptian religion were practiced. (...)The culture of Egypt attained high developments in religious ideas and also in artistic expression. In their religious interests the ancient Egyptians created a vast literature. Their very large sacred literature included mythological texts, guides for the dead, prayers, hymns, ... and philosophical wisdom texts. (...) The wisdom of Egypt influenced the Israelite religion as well as Greek philosophers.”(pp.30-33) Theodore M. Ludwig, The Sacred Paths of the West New York: Macmillan College Publishing Company, 1994. 9. THE AFRICAN (EGYPTIAN) ORIGIN OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS,

AND THE RULE OF LAW

With regards to the origin of democracy and human rights, it is also important to recall that in this matter, Egypt served as a teacher of ancient Greeks and Romans as the famous Encyclopedia Britannica acknowledges clearly:

“The concept of Egyptian Law refers to that law that originated with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under King Menes (c.2925B.C.) and grew and developed until the Roman occupation of Egypt (30 B.C The history of Egyptian law is longer than that of any other civilization. Even after the Roman occupation, elements of Egyptian law were retained outside the major urban areas. Although punishment for criminal offenders could be severe-and, in the modern viewpoint, barbaric-Egyptian law nevertheless was admirable in its support of basic human rights. The Pharaoh Bocchoris, for example, promoted individual rights, suppressed imprisonment for debt, and reformed laws relating to the transferal of property. His legal innovations are one example of the far-reaching implications of Egyptian law: the Greek lawgiver Solon (6th century BC.) visited Egypt and adapted aspects of the legal system to his own ideas for

19 Athens. Egyptian law continued to influence Greek law during the Hellenistic period, and its effects on Roman imperial law may still be felt today.” ( “Egyptian law,” in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol.4, Micropaedia; 15th edition (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1994); p. 392.

10. “All humans today, whether they are Europeans, Australian Aborigenes, or Africans, belong to the same subspecies of human being. The first anatomically modern humans, known as Homo Sapiens Sapiens appeared in Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago. They began to spread outside Africa around 100,000 years ago… By 10,000 B.C., members of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species could be found throughout the world… Western civilization can be traced back to the ancient Near East, where people in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed organized societies and created the ideas and institutions that we associate with civilization. The later Greeks and Romans, who played such a crucial role in the development of Western Civilization, where themselves nourished and influenced by these older societies in the Near East. It is appropriate, therefore, to begin our story of Western civilization in the ancient Near East with the early civilization of Mesopotamia and Egypt.” Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization. Volume 1: to 1715. (Thomson Wadsworth, 2003), pp.2-3. 11. The authors of the Bible and the Koran spoke languages of African origin “We’re taught that Western civilization originated in the Near East, was brought to brilliant heights in Europe by the Greeks and Romans, and produced three of the world’s great religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Those religions arose among people speaking three closely related languages, termed Semitic languages: Aramaic (the language of Christ and the Apostles), Hebrew, and Arabic, respectively. We instinctively associate Semitic peoples with the Near East. However, Greenberg determined that Semitic languages really form only one of six or more branches of a much larger language family, Afro-asiatic, all of whose other branches (and other 222 surviving languages) are confined to Africa. Even the Semitic subfamily itself is mainly African, 12 of its 19 surviving languages being confined to Ethiopia. This suggests that Afroasiatic languages arose in Africa, and that only one branch of them spread to the Near East. Hence it may have been Africa that gave birth to the languages spoken by the authors of the Old and New Testaments and the Koran, the moral pillars of Western civilization.”

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. (New York/London: W.W. Norton & company, 1999), p.383.

20 12. AFRICAN ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND AND RELIGION (by Robert Fisher, American missionary) Reflecting on the discoveries of linguistics, genetics, paleontology, and history of art, the American missionary Robert Fischer comes to the logical conclusion on the significant role played by Africa in the origin of world religions and their basic symbols and rituals, and religious language:

The scientists, whose job is to look for fossil remains and to dig for archeological evidence of human origins, have probably demonstrated quite well for us that the earliest human life forms appeared in East Africa over a million years ago. These paleoanthropologists maintain that the first humans evolved in Africa and migrated to Europe and Asia. These earliest human life are referred to as Homo erectus. The evolution from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens is explained in various ways. Some believing in the “multiregional hypothesis” claimed that some Homo Sapiens developed in Africa, another in Europe and another in Asia. But other scholars maintain that all humans that inhabit the earth today came out of the Homo Sapiens that evolved in Africa (“Out of Africa” theory).Scientists at Berkeley, California, and at Emory, in Atlanta, by looking at patterns of genetic variation of mitochondrial DNA among human populations, determined that Africans, of all existing populations, have the deepest genetic roots. Since only women are the bearers of a type of “genetic time-clock,” the African woman stands out as the model of a kind of “Mitochondrial Eve.” Thus genetic evidence point to the origin of humankind from a “Black Eve.” All humanity descends from a Black African woman. The fundamental belief among many scientists is that the transformation of an archaic human form to a modern form of Homo Sapiens occurred first in Africa about 100,000 to 150,000 years ago. From Africa this most recent ancestor migrated to spread over the face of the earth. All human beings therefore descended from Africans. This implies that not only humanity, but also language, culture, civilization and religion were born in Africa… Until about 1950 it was assumed that the Afroasiatic language family had been introduced into Africa from neighboring Asia, but now it is widely held that it originated in Africa west of the Red Sea. It includes the Semitic languages of southwestern Asia, such as Arabic, Hebrew, and ancient Aramaic, and the ancient Egyptian, Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, and Omotic languages of northern and northeastern Africa… The point we make here is that since the cradle of humanity was probably Africa – or, at least, one important segment of the species Homo Sapiens evolved out of an early genetic pool in Africa – one could claim that dance, ritual, and ceremony are the dramatic elements of the religious traditions that are still extant today all over sub-Saharan Africa and have spread from there over the face of the earth. The African is a person of dance. The Africans were the first human beings to dance and reflect on their humanity in terms of a world beyond the physical, the spiritual order of gods and ancestors. The Africans were the messengers of art and of the good news about a world beyond the mere mundane earth.” Robert B. Fisher, West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998), pp.13-15; 30.

13. The testimony of Pope In 1994, during the first African Synod of Bishops held in Rome, Pope John-Paul II declared the following:

21 “Although Africa is very rich in natural resources, it remains economically poor. At the same time, it is endowed with a wealth of cultural values and priceless human qualities which it can offer to the Churches and to humanity as a whole…Africans have a profound religious sense, a sense of the sacred, of the existence of God the Creator and of a spiritual world. The reality of sin in its individual and social forms is very much present in the consciousness of these peoples, as is also the need for rites of purification and expiation.” Maura Browne, ed., The African Synod: Documents, Reflections, Perspectives. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996); p. 245. 14. An African Universal Prayer (A Model of African Spirituality):

Kirinyaga (God), owner of all things, I pray to Thee, give me what I need, Because I am suffering, and also my children, And all the things that are in this country of mine. I beg Thee, the good one, for life, Healthy people with no disease. May they bear healthy children. And also to women who suffer Because they are barren, open the way By which they may see children. Give goats, cattle, food, honey, And also the trouble of the other lands That I do not know, remove.

(A Meru Prayer, Kenya) 15. The Essence of African Traditional Religion Iwà lesin (Good Character is the essence of Religion) Where did you see Iwa? Tell me!

Iwà, iwà is the one I am looking for. “A man may be very, very handsome Handsome as a fish within the water But if he has no character He is no more than a wooden doll.”

Iwà, iwà is the one I am looking for.

If you have money, But if you do not have good character, The money belongs to someone else. Iwà, iwà is the one we are searching for. If one has children,

22 But if one lacks good character, The children belong to someone else. Iwà, iwà is the one we are searching for. If one has a house But if one lacks good character, The house belongs to someone else. Iwà, iwà is what we are searching for. If one has clothes, But if one lacks good character, The clothes belong to someone else. Iwà, iwà is what we are looking for. All the good things of life that a man has, If you have money, If he lacks good character, They belong to someone else. Iwà, iwà is what we are searching for.

Each individual must use his own hands To improve on his own character Anger does not produce a good result for any man Patience is the father of good character If there is an old man who is endowed with patience He will be endowed with all good things It is honesty which I have in me, I do not have any wickedness Iwà lèsin, Good character is the essence of religion. (Yoruba Religion) 16. CHINUA ACHEBE: “Colonization may indeed be a very complex affair, but one thing is certain: You do not walk in, seize the land, the person, the history of another, and then sit back and compose hymns of praise in his honor. To do that would amount to calling yourself a bandit. So what do you do? You construct very elaborate excuses for your action. You say, for instance, that the man in question is worthless and quite unfit to manage himself and his affairs. If there are valuable things like gold or diamonds which you are carting away from his territory, you proceed to prove that he doesn’t own them in the real sense of the word – that he and they just happened to be lying around the same place when you arrived. Finally, if worse comes to the worst, you will be prepared to question whether such as he can be, like you, fully human.” Chinua Achebe in African Commentary, vol.1, n0.2, Nov.1989.

23 17. Malcolm X “Now what effect does the struggle in Africa have on us? Why should the Black man in America concern himself since he’s been away from the African continent for three or four hundred years? Why should we concern ourselves? What impact does what happens to them have upon us? Number one, you have to realize that up until 1959 Africa was dominated by the colonial powers. Having complete control over Africa, the colonial powers of Europe projected the image of Africa negatively. They always projected Africa in a negative light: jungle savages, cannibals, nothing civilized. it was so negative that it was negative to you and me, and you and I began to hate it. We didn’t want anybody telling us anything about Africa, much less calling us Africans, we ended up hating ourselves, without even realizing it. Because you can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate your origin and not end up hating yourself. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself. (Malcolm X, February 1965: The final Speeches. New York; Pathfinder, 1992. p.93) 18. Jahn Janheinz and the invention of the “Real Negro” mythology

Those who expect to see in their fellow men fools, blockheads or devils, will find evidence to confirm their prejudices. If we are convinced the other fellow cannot sing, we have only to call his song “a hellish row” in order to justify our claim. Simply by applying a certain vocabulary one can easily turn Gods into idols, faces into grimaces, votive images into fetishes, discussions into palavers and distort real objects and matters of fact through bigotry and prejudice. Prejudice has created types in the mind of the public. Only the most highly cultivated person, humane, cosmopolitan, enlightened, progressive, counts as a “real European.” A “real African,” on the other hand, lives in the bush, carves “primitive” scriptures, can neither read nor write, goes naked, lives carefree and happy from day to day and tells fairy stories about the crocodile and the elephant. The more “primitive,” the more “really African.” But an African who is enlightened and cosmopolitan, who presides in the most cultivated fashion over congresses, who makes political speeches or write novels, no longer counts as a “real” African. Janheinz, Jahn, Muntu: African culture and the Western World (New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1990), p.20

19. Basil Davidson “Old views (views of Victorian evolutionists) about Africa are worth recalling because, though vanished from serious discussion, they still retain a kind of underground existence. The stercoraceous sediment of Burton’s opinions, and of others such as Burton, has settled like a layer of dust and ashes on the minds of large numbers of otherwise thoughtful people, and is constantly being swirled about. What this leads to, despite all factual evidence to the contrary, are endless suspicions that writers such as Lothrop Stoddard were or are just possibly right when they wrote or write about the ‘natural and inherent inferiority’ of Africans; that ‘in the Negro, we are in the presence of a being differing profoundly not merely from the white man but also from (other) human types’; or that ‘the Negro... has contributed virtually nothing’ to the civilization of the world. However scientifically mistaken, these notions apparently remain part of our culture. Often it is the aggressive violence of such opinions that most surprises... When our Grand children reflect on the middle and later years of the twentieth century, above all on the years lying between about

24 1950 and 1980, and think about us writers of African history, of the history of the black peoples, I think that they will see us as emerging from a time of ignorance and misunderstanding. For these were the liberating years when accounts began at last to be squared with the malice and mystification of racism. And by racism I do not mean, of course, that phalanx of old superstitions, fears and fantasies associated with ancient white ideas about blackness, or not less ancient black ideas about whiteness, the ideas of an old world in which distance always induced distortion. By racism I mean the conscious and systematic weapon of domination, of exploitation (...) , which first saw its demonic rise with the onset of the trans-Atlantic trade in African captives sold into slavery, and which, later, led on to the imperialist colonialism of our yesterdays. This racism was not a “mistake,” a “misunderstanding” or a “grievous deviation from the proper norms of behavior.” It was not an accident of human error. It was not an unthinking reversion to barbarism. This racism was conceived as the moral justification - the necessary justification, as it was seen by those in the white man’s world who were neither thieves nor moral monsters - for doing to black people what church and state no longer thought it permissible to do to white people: the justification for enslaving black people, that is, when it was no longer permissible to enslave white people. This weapon of exploitation has its own history, developing new uses in new situations, as many of us know or remember or even now may still experience. But this has been a history, nonetheless, which began to come to an end in the middle and later years of the twentieth century. One of the reasons why it began to come to an end has been the emergence of the Africans from their colonialist subjection.” Basil Davidson, The African Genius.. Boston: Little, Brown and Company,1969); p.25. Basil Davidson, African Civilization Revisited from Antiquity to Modern time. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991);pp.3-4. 20. Basil Davidson “Having taken possession of Africa in the 1880s and soon after, the dispossessors were bound to assure themselves, if only for their own peace of mind, that they had also acted for the benefit and eventual welfare of the peoples they had dispossessed. Left to their pre-industrial and pre-scientific primitivism, said the colonialists, Africans could never have modernized their communities, their ideas and beliefs, their ways of self-government. Colonialism might be a rough and though business; never mind, foreign rule was what Africa needed if any real progress were to become possible. The Africa of a century ago, it was said, was lost in the futile ties of a bygone age, unable to help itself….The Negro, many have believed, is a man without a past. Black Africa-Africa south of the Sahara desert-is on this view a continent where men by their own efforts have never raised themselves much above the level of the beasts. “No ingenious manufactures among them, no arts, no sciences,” commented David Hume. “No approach to the civilization of his white fellow creatures who he imitates as a monkey does a man,” added Trollope...Africans, on this view, had never evolved civilization of their own; if they possessed a history, it could be scarcely worth the telling. And this belief that Africans had lived in universal chaos or stagnation until the coming of Europeans seemed not only to find its justification in a thousand tales of savage misery and benigned ignorance; it was also, of course, exceedingly convenient in high imperial times. For it could be argued (and it was; indeed, it still is) that these peoples, history-less, were naturally inferior or else they were ‘children who had still to grow up’; in either case they were manifestly in need of government by others who had grown up….It is an old and true saying that you cannot develop other people, you can only develop yourself. Other people either develop themselves, or they do not at all. Peoples in Africa, before the long colonial

25 interruption, had developed themselves. From this self-development had come a rich variety of social and political systems: self-governing communities, complex patterns of trade and of production for trade, valuable techniques like the skills of tropical agriculture, metal- working, textile weaving and so on. History also shows that this self-development, in all its complexity, had derived from indispensable principles of statecraft. Communities which upheld these principles had been able to succeed and prosper. Communities which ignored or denied these principles had failed and fallen into confusion. These pre-colonial principles were concerned with preventing the abuse of executive power; with ensuring that power was shared across the community in question; and, to safeguard this participation, with upholding the rule of law. Every successful community in old Africa had operated in one way or another on these principles of statecraft; and such communities had been many. These were the truths that the colonial powers, and their ideologists, had always denied. Colonial ideologists had said that black people had never known how best to govern themselves: white people must do it for them. Such was the ideological basis of colonialism. And the same idea, however muted, was also the basis of...new-colonialism.” Davidson, Basil, Modern Africa: A Social and Political History. (London: Longman, 1995); pp.265-269; and Davidson, Basil, The Lost Cities of Africa. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1959); p.ix. A BRIEF HISTORY OF MULTICULTURALISM IN THE US MULTICULTURALISM AND THE RECOGNITION OF OTHER RELIGIONS “PAGANISM” AS A WORLD RELIGION

313-1945: Persecution of indigenous people and pagan religions

(by Christianity and later on Islam) 1850-1950: beginning of revival of pagan religions 1950-2050: Neo-pagan religions officially accepted and respected along other world religions. 1945-1965: The UN AND VATICAN II acknowledge and promote the rights of indigenous religions and freedom of religion in general. 1948: UN declaration of human rights 1950-1970: Decolonization

26 In 1951: the last law against Witchcraft was repealed in England. 3 years later a book was published, written by Gerald Brousseau Gardner, who professed to

be an actual witch. Raymond Buchkland, The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism (Detroit: Visible Ink Press; 2002);p.xii.

1965: Council Vatican II 1973-2003 (especially 1970s and 1990s): The UN promotes the protection and celebration of indigenous people, languages, cultures

and religions. 1973-2003 (especially 1970s and 1990s): The UN promotes the protection and celebration of indigenous people, languages, cultures and religions. Pagan religions officially recognized by various governments in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. 1970-2000: Decline of Christianity in Europe and rise of Neo-Pagan religions in Europe

(where they also become officially recognized). End of European colonialism and rise of indigenous religions 1970-2010 (the process of recognition took almost 40 years): 1973: the government of Iceland officially recognizes Neo-pagan religions. 1978: Native American religion becomes legal in the U.S. when the Freedom of Religion Act was passed by the US Congress 1986 and 1990: Pope John Paul II recognizes officially that the Spirit of the one true God works also outside Christianity, in individuals, societies and other religions 1992: A Supreme Court decision recognizes the right of Santeria to perform animal sacrifices in Florida (USA) 1993: proclaimed by the United Nations "International Year of the World's Indigenous People" by the United Nations (UN Resolution 45/164). 1993-2003: Decade of Indigenous people (9 August proclaimed in 1994 "International Day of the World's Indigenous People" ) 1994: Pope John-Paul II officially recognizes the values and dignity of African traditional religions (during the African Synod held in Rome) 1996: Official recognition of Voodoo in Benin 1996: Official recognition of Neo-pagan religions in Norway (in 1996 and in1999) 2003: Official recognition of Voodoo in Haiti and of Neo-pagan religions in Denmark 2010: Druidism officially recognized in England (UK) The transformation of the American society and the impact of 3 major wars: World War I (1914-1918), WWII (1917-1946), Vietnam War (1950-1970) MULTICULTURALISM AND US CITIZENSHIP 1917:Puerto Ricans granted US citizenship

27 1920: Women gain the right to vote 1923: US citizenship granted to Asian Indians 1924: full citizenship granted to all Native Americans, but many Western states refuse to allow them to vote (=>1978: the Religious Freedom Act promises to protect and preserve for Native Americans freedom to believe, express, and exercise traditional religions, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rites) (=> 2004: Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian opens in Washington, DC) 1943: Chinese Exclusion Act repealed, making immigrants of Chinese ancestry eligible for citizenship 1946: Filipinos eligible for citizenship 1954-1974: struggle for the inclusion of African Americans 1957: the US Congress passes the Voting Rights Act for African Americans FROM SLAVERY TO MULTICULTURALISM: A BRIEF HISTORY SLAVE TRADE (17th-19th century): Almost 300 YEARS(Colonialism: 100 years) 1441: The first African slaves are transported to Portugal. c. 1517 Black plantation slavery begins in the New World when Spaniards begin importing slaves from Africa to replace Native Americans who died from harsh working conditions and exposure to Old World diseases to which they had no immunity. 1562: Three hundred slaves are obtained by the British and taken to Hispaniola (later Haiti and the Dominican Republic). 1565: The Spanish take slaves to St. Augustine, the first permanent settlement in what would later be the state of Florida. IN THE US 1607: English colony established in Virginia 1618/1619: First enslaved Africans (20 people) brought to America (in Jamestown, in Virginia) aboard a Dutch ship. 1638: First African slaves arrive in Massachusetts 1660-1700: Africans begin to replace Native American slaves and White indentured servants From the 1660s: laws regulate slavery, and establish that children born from slaves are slaves for life. 1664: Black-White marriages outlawed 1665-1865: 200 years of intensive African slavery in the US 1707 A South African census lists 1,779 Dutch settlers owning 1,107 slaves. 1735 Carolus Linnaeus begins his classification of all then-known animal forms, ultimately including humans with primates and providing a model for modern racial classification. 1859: Darwin publishes “The origin of species” 1865-1965: Slavery abolished in 1865, but replaced by Segregation laws or institutionalized racism or “White Supremacy” (Jim Crow: “Separate but Equal”) 1950-1980 / 1980-2010: African Renaissance (last 30 years)

28

ABOLITION AND COLONIALISM 1776: the very year in which he wrote the US Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson also formulated a proposal for the African colonization of American blacks. Although he deplored slavery, Jefferson remained a slaveholder who believed in the absolute inferiority of blacks. Hence he maintained that once emancipated, black Americans had to be returned back to Africa leaving the US to whites only. Abraham Lincoln himself embraced this idea and was for years a “colonizationist.” (Most of the Founding Fathers were large-scale slaveholders as were 8 of the first 12 Presidents of the United States!) 1816: a group of Presbyterian ministered founded in Washington, DC, the “American colonization Society” (ACS) with a goal to encourage free blacks to immigrate to Africa. 1821: ACS purchased a colony christened LIBERIA, and during the 19th century the ACS sent an estimated 12,000 to 20,000 African Americans to Africa. 1846: Frederick Douglass launches his abolitionist newspaper. 1849:Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad. 1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel,Uncle Tom's Cabin is published. It becomes one of the most influential works to stir anti-slavery sentiments. 1857: The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens. 1863: A century after the Independence of the US, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation (issued in 1862, but to take effect in 1863) declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate states "are, and henceforward shall be free." 1865: The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolishes slavery. The same year Nathan B. Forrest (a former Confederate general) organizes the Ku Klux Klan 1866: The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution establishes the citizenship of anyone born in the US, including African Americans 1870: The 15th Amendment prohibits federal and state governments from infringing on a citizen’s right to vote based on “race, color, or previous conditions of servitude.” HISTORY OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION 1883: the US Supreme Court declares the “Civil Rights Act of 1875” unconstitutional 1896 - 1954: 1896: Supreme Court upholds “Separate but equal” doctrine in “Plessy versus Ferguson.” Hence the Court sanctioned segregation as the law of the land by affirming the constitutionality and hence establishing the legitimacy of the Louisiana’s Jim Crow Law. Jim Crow Law established the principle of “equal but separate accommodations for whites and colored races” in public facilities. Jim Crow’s segregation law remained in force and governed the US for 58 years until 1954. 1954-1974: Civil Rights Movement

29 1954: “Separate but equal” doctrine rejected as invalid by the US Supreme Court decision in “Brown versus Topeka Board of Education.” (Schools must be integrated) 1955: Bus boycott after the Rosa Park incident 1956: the Supreme Court rules that segregation on public buses is illegal 1957: the US Congress passes the Voting Rights Act. This was the first civil rights legislation to pass Congress since the end of Reconstruction. It was aimed at ending the barriers created to stop Blacks from voting, in the South. 1961 (March 6): Pdt John F. Kennedy issued the executive order 10925 which inaugurated the Government’s policy to redress racial inequities in employment opportunities. 1963: Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job The same year (1963): Martin Luther King’s March on Washington (“I have a Dream” Speech) 1964: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex. It also establishes the Equal Employment opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate complaints and impose penalties 1965 (September 24): Affirmative Action: Noting that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, Pdt Lyndon Johnson issued his Executive Order 11246 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, and national origin, but not sex. This Order enforced affirmative action for the first time. (Malcolm X assassinated the same year; Martin Luther King will be assassinated in 1968, and in 1986 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday becomes a national holiday in the United States) 1967: the Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. 16 states that still banned interracial marriage at that time are forced to revise their laws.

(1664: Black-White marriages outlawed; for 300 years!) 1973: Affirmative Action for women: Pdt Richard Nixon, in his Executive Order 11375 amended Johnson’s order by including sex as a protected class. The same year (1973): as a result of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court establishes a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states.(1960: the Pill enters the market and shapes the life of women) 1974: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in consumer credit practices on the basis of sex, race, marital status, religion, national origin, age, or receipt of public assistance. PRINCIPLES OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND THE RECOGNITION OF OTHER RELIGIONS (INCLUDING ATR) The understanding of the spiritual values of “other religions” is largely hindered by exclusivist doctrines, especially the ideology of idolatry promoted by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. However even within these religions, there are trends of openness to other religions.

30 Here is a sample of new ideas that promote religious tolerance 1. The crucial role of the UN in fostering religious freedom Article 18 (UN, Universal declaration of Human Rights) Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. 2. Change of attitude among Western intellectuals EMILE DURKHEIM: “In reality, there are no religions which are false. All are true in their own fashion; all answer, though in different ways, to the given conditions of human existence. They respond to the same needs, they play the same role, they depend upon the same causes. All are religions equally, just as all living beings are equally alive, from the most humble plastids up to man.” HUSTON SMITH: “It is not morally possible actually to go out into the world and say to devout, intelligent, fellow human beings: ‘We are saved and you are damned’; or, ‘We believe that we know God, and we are right; you believe that you know God, and you are totally wrong.’” Huston Smith, The Faith of Other Men(New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1972); pp.130-31. Biblical Foundation of Religious Pluralism The Book of Wisdom 11, 22 - 12,1: Indeed, before you the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? But you spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord and lover of souls, For your imperishable spirit is in all things! “Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.’” Acts of the Apostles 10:34-35 From Coogan, Michael D., ed., The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2001)

31 AFTER THIS SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS, WE NOW PROCEED WITH THE MORE DETAILED VERSION OF THE FILE TABLE OF CONTENTS (BIG PICTURE)

You will find here, in 5 sections, an excellent summary of knowledge pertaining to African traditional religions Here is all that is necessary for a better understanding of African traditional religions

SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION: GENERAL EPISTEMOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK (WHAT, WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW, HOW MANY?) Part 0. How many practitioners of ATR? (see section II on the religious landscape) Part 1. Official recognition of indigenous or “pagan” religions in the world

1.1 Recognition by various governments in Europe, Africa and the Americas 1.2. The rise of religious tolerance and the recognition of other religions: some fundamental guiding principles of religious tolerance

Part 2. Why Study Africa? Why does Africa matter to us? 2.0. Summary of the fundamental reasons for studying Africa 2.1. Cradle of humanity

2.2. Implications of “cradle of humanity theory” for civilization and world religions 2.2.1. African contribution to world civilization and religion in general 2.2.2. African contribution to Western Civilization and Spirituality 2.2.2.1. Contribution to the Religions and Spiritual Values of the West or Europe 2.2.2.1.1. Contribution to ancient religions of Greece and Rome 2.2.2.1.2. Contribution to the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity 2.2.2.2. Contribution to Western civilization 2.2.2.2.0. Western civilization in general 2.2.2.2.1. African contribution to the Roman Empire 2.2.2.2.2. Contribution to ancient Greece 2.2.2.2.2. 1. Greek religion (Herodotus) 2.2.2.2.2. 2. Greek Philosophy and Science 2.2.2.2.2. 3. Democracy, Human Rights, and the “Rule of Law”

32 2.3. The Egyptian Problem and Eurocentrism: Educational Propaganda and Miseducation. 2.3.1.The Egyptian Problem 2.3.2. Foreign Stimulus Ideology and The Zimbabwe Gambling

Part 3. How to properly study ATR? 3.1. Overcoming Miseducation and the colonial educational propaganda

of Eurocentric scholarship 3.2. Historical context and Epistemological Framework 3.2.1. Principles of Religious Tolerance and the Recognition of Traditional Religions 3.2.2. The “Cradle of Humanity” theory and its implications for world civilizations

and religions 3.2. 3. Beyond Colonialism: African Renaissance, Multiculturalism and the Revival

of Traditional Religions 3.2. 4. Revisiting the Sources of Knowledge 3.3. Outline of Key points in the study of ATR 3.4. African Moral Values 3.4.1. Major African moral values (Virtues) 3.4.2. Recognition of African moral qualities and spiritual values

SECTION 2. RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE OF AFRICA AND THE WORLD

Part 1. Practitioners of ATR in Africa and the World Part 2. Religious Landscape of Africa and the World

SECTION 3. AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS IN 80 KEY THESES SECTION 4. CHRONOLOGY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AFRICAN RELIGIONS Part 1. Chronology and General Bibliography Part 2. Thematic Bibliography

VII. General History of Africa VIII. African Traditional Religions: Important Works IX. Sacred Texts of Africa

1. Sacred Texts of African Traditional Religions 2. Sacred Texts of Ancient Egypt 3. African Bibles

X. Christianity as an African Religion

33 XI. The Egyptian Problem XII. Colonialism, Intellectual Racism, and Genocide

SECTION 5. MISCELLANEOUS DATA SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION Part 1. OFFICIAL RECOGNITION OF PAGAN RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD

1. RECOGNITION BY CHRISTIANITY AND BY VARIOUS GOVERNMENTS OF EUROPE, AFRICA AND AMERICA

“PAGANISM” AS A WORLD RELIGION

313-1945: Persecution of indigenous people and pagan religions

(by Christianity and later on Islam) 1850-1950: beginning of revival of pagan religions 1950-2050: Neo-pagan religions officially accepted and respected along other world religions. 1945-1965: The UN AND VATICAN II acknowledge and promote the rights of indigenous religions and freedom of religion in general. 1948: UN declaration of human rights 1950-1970: Decolonization In 1951: the last law against Witchcraft was repealed in England. 3 years later a book was published, written by Gerald Brousseau Gardner, who professed to

be an actual witch. Raymond Buchkland, The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism (Detroit: Visible Ink Press; 2002);p.xii.

1965: Council Vatican II 1973-2003 (especially 1970s and 1990s): The UN promotes the protection and celebration of indigenous people, languages, cultures

and religions.

34 1973-2003 (especially 1970s and 1990s): The UN promotes the protection and celebration of indigenous people, languages, cultures and religions. Pagan religions officially recognized by various governments in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. 1970-2000: Decline of Christianity in Europe and rise of Neo-Pagan religions in Europe

(where they also become officially recognized). End of European colonialism and rise of indigenous religions 1970-2010 (the process of recognition took almost 40 years): 1973: the government of Iceland officially recognizes Neopagan religions. 1978: Native American religion becomes legal in the U.S. when the Freedom of Religion Act was passed (in 1978) 1993: A Supreme Court decision recognizes the right of Santeria to perform animal sacrifices in Florida (USA) 1993 also proclaimed the "International Year of the World's Indigenous People" (by the UN) 1994: Pope John-Paul II officially recognizes the values and dignity of African traditional religions (during the African Synod held in Rome) 1996: Official recognition of Voodoo in Benin and of Neopagan religions in Norway (1996 and 1999) 2003: Official recognition of Voodoo in Haiti

and of Neopagan religions in Denmark 2010: Druidism officially recognized in England 2. PRINCIPLES OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND THE RECOGNITION OF OTHER RELIGIONS (INCLUDING ATR) The understanding of the spiritual values of “other religions” is largely hindered by exclusivist doctrines, especially the ideology of idolatry promoted by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. However even within these religions, there are trends of openness to other religions. Here is a sample of new ideas that promote religious tolerance 1. The crucial role of the UN in fostering religious freedom Article 18 (UN, Universal declaration of Human Rights) Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. 2. Change of attitude among Western intellectuals

35 EMILE DURKHEIM: “In reality, there are no religions which are false. All are true in their own fashion; all answer, though in different ways, to the given conditions of human existence. They respond to the same needs, they play the same role, they depend upon the same causes. All are religions equally, just as all living beings are equally alive, from the most humble plastids up to man.” HUSTON SMITH: “It is not morally possible actually to go out into the world and say to devout, intelligent, fellow human beings: ‘We are saved and you are damned’; or, ‘We believe that we know God, and we are right; you believe that you know God, and you are totally wrong.’” Huston Smith, The Faith of Other Men(New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1972); pp.130-31. 3. Paradigm Shift in Christian Consciousness (Openess to other religions) 3.1. Biblical Foundation of Religious Pluralism The Book of Wisdom 11, 22 - 12,1: Indeed, before you the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? But you spare all things, because they are yours, O Lord and lover of souls, For your imperishable spirit is in all things! “Then Peter began to speak to them: ‘I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.’” Acts of the Apostles 10:34-35 From Coogan, Michael D., ed., The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2001) 3. 2. Revolutionary views of the Catholic Church (Council, Popes and Theologians) and of Protestant theologians. Jean Danielou (1956; Catholic theologian and Cardinal)

36 “Holiness in the order of cosmic religion consists in responding to God’s call through conscience. It is true holiness. For the Bible there exists no profane morality… Only the will of a person who deserves absolute homage can make absolute claims. To obey the moral law is to recognize God’s infinitely loving will; it is to love God. Moral life is already worship. This is why conscience is a revelation of God and there exists no a-religious morality.” Jean Danielou, Les saints “paiens” de l’Ancien Testament. (Paris: Seuil, 1956), p.166 English version: Jean Danielou, Holy Pagans in the Old Testament. (London: Longmans, Greean and Co., 1957) Cited by Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.

Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; p.37 Nostra Aetate (Vatican II Council, in 1965): We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man's relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: "He who does not love does not know God" (1 John 4:8). No foundation therefore remains for any theory or practice that leads to discrimination between man and man or people and people, so far as their human dignity and the rights flowing from it are concerned. The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion. On the contrary, following in the footsteps of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this sacred synod ardently implores the Christian faithful to "maintain good fellowship among the nations" (1 Peter 2:12), and, if possible, to live for their part in peace with all men,(14) so that they may truly be sons of the Father who is in heaven. 1986: in the encyclical on the Holy Spirit “Dominum et Vivificantem” (18 May 1986), pope John Paul II articulated explicitly the doctrine of “universal activity of the Holy Spirit before the time of Christian dispensation and today outside the Church.”

Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; p.176

1986: in a discourse to the members of the Roman Curia (December 22), in explaining the meaning of the Assisi meeting with members of different religions for the WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR PEACE (21 October 1986) as a continuation of the spirit of Vatican II, the Pope spoke more clearly than any of the Vatican II council documents on the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the religious life of the members of other religious traditions. Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.

Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; p.175 1990: Pope John-Paul II explicitly proclaims that the Spirit of God works not only within Christianity or the Catholic Church, but also outside, in individuals, cultures and other religious traditions (Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, 7 December 1990):

“The Spirit manifests himself in a special way in the Church and her members. Nevertheless, his presence and activity are universal, limited neither by space nor time… The Spirit… is at the very source of the human person’s existential and religious questioning which is occasioned not only by contingent situations but by the very structure of its being.

37 The Spirit’s presence and activity affect not only individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions.” Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; pp.176-177

REDEMPTORIS MISSIO (The Mission of Christ the Redeemer) ON THE PERMANENT VALIDITY OF THE CHURCH’S MISSIONARY MANDATE By Pope John Paul II, December 7, 1990 Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, on December 7, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Conciliar Decree Ad Gentes, in the year 1990, the thirteenth of my Pontificate. JOHN PAUL II http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0219/_INDEX.HTM THE TEXT OF THE ENCYCLICAL CHAPTER III - THE HOLY SPIRIT: THE PRINCIPAL AGENT OF MISSION The Spirit Is Present and Active in Every Time and Place 28. The Spirit manifests himself in a special way in the Church and in her members. Nevertheless, his presence and activity are universal, limited neither by space nor time. The Second Vatican Council recalls that the Spirit is at work in the heart of every person, through the "seeds of the Word," to be found in human initiatives-including religious ones-and in mankind's efforts to attain truth, goodness and God himself. The Spirit offers the human race" the light and strength to respond to its highest calling"; through the Spirit, "mankind attains in faith to the contemplation and savoring of the mystery of God's design"; indeed, "we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in the Paschal Mystery in a manner known to God." The Church "is aware that humanity is being continually stirred by the Spirit of God and can therefore never be completely indifferent to the problems of religion" and that "people will always...want to know what meaning to give their life, their activity and their death." The Spirit, therefore, is at the very source of man's existential and religious questioning, a questioning which is occasioned not only by contingent situations but by the very structure of his being. The Spirit's presence and activity affect not only the individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions. Indeed, the Spirit is at the origin of the noble ideals and undertakings which benefit humanity on its journey through history: "The Spirit of God with marvelous foresight directs the course of the ages and renews the face of the earth." The risen Christ "is now at work in human hearts through the strength of his Spirit, not only instilling a desire for the world to come but also thereby animating, purifying and reinforcing the noble aspirations which drive the human family to make its life one that is more human and to direct the whole earth to this end." Again, it is the Spirit who sows the "seeds of the Word" present in various customs and cultures, preparing them for full maturity in Christ. 29. Thus the Spirit, who "blows where he wills" (cf. Jn 3:8), who "was already at work in the world before Christ was glorified," and who "has filled the world,...holds all things together

38 [and] knows what is said" (Wis 1:7), leads us to broaden our vision in order to ponder his activity in every time and place. I have repeatedly called this fact to mind, and it has guided me in my meetings with a wide variety of peoples. The Church's relationship with other religions is dictated by a twofold respect: "Respect for man in his quest for answers to the deepest questions of his life, and respect for the action of the Spirit in man." Excluding any mistaken interpretation, the interreligious meeting held in Assisi was meant to confirm my conviction that "every authentic prayer is prompted by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in every human heart." This is the same Spirit who was at work in the Incarnation and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and who is at work in the Church. He is therefore not an alternative to Christ, nor does he fill a sort of void which is sometimes suggested as existing between Christ and the Logos. Whatever the Spirit brings about in human hearts and in the history of peoples, in cultures and religions serves as a preparation for the Gospel and can only be understood in reference to Christ, the Word who took flesh by the power of the Spirit" so that as perfectly human he would save all human beings and sum up all things." Moreover, the universal activity of the Spirit is not to be separated from his particular activity within the body of Christ, which is the Church. Indeed, it is always the Spirit who is at work, both when he gives life to the Church and impels her to proclaim Christ, and when he implants and develops his gifts in all individuals and peoples, guiding the Church to discover these gifts, to foster them and to receive them through dialogue. Every form of the Spirit's presence is to be welcomed with respect and gratitude, but the discernment of this presence is the responsibility of the Church, to which Christ gave his Spirit in order to guide her into all the truth (cf. Jn 16:13).

1990: the Catholic theologian Schillebeeckx proclaims: “even in the Christian self-understanding the multiplicity of religions is not an evil which needs to be removed, but rather a wealth which is to be welcomed and enjoyed by all… The unity, identity and uniqueness of Christianity over against the other religions… lies in the fact that Christianity is a religion which associates relationship to God with a historical and thus a very specific and therefore limited particularity: Jesus of Nazareth. This is the uniqueness and identity of Christianity, but at the same time its unavoidable historical limitation. It becomes clear here that … the God of Jesus is a symbol of openness, not of closedness. Here Christianity has a positive relationship to other religions, but at the same time its uniqueness is nevertheless maintained, and ultimately at the same time the loyal Christian affirmation of the positive nature of other world religions is honoured.” Edward Schillebeeckx, Church: The Human Story of God (London: SCM Press, 1990), p.167

Cited in Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; pp.386-387. 1997: Jacques Dupuis (Catholic, Jesuit theologian) proclaims: “On what foundation, then, can the affirmation of a religious pluralism ‘of principle,’ or de jure, be made to rest? I did affirm that the faith in a plurality of persons in the one God is in itself no sufficient foundation for religious pluralism…. If, however, religion has its original source in a divine self-manifestation to human beings, as we have shown, the principle of plurality will be made to rest primarily on the superabundant richness and diversity of God’s self-manifestations to humankind. The divine plan for humanity is one, but multifaceted. That God spoke ‘in many and various ways’ before speaking through his son (Heb 1:1) is not incidental; nor is the plural character of God’s self-manifestation merely a thing of the past. For the decisiveness of the Son’s advent in the flesh in Jesus Christ does not cancel the

39 universal presence and action of the Word and the Spirit. Religious pluralism in principle rests on the immensity of a God who is love.”

Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; p.387. (I quote the edition of 2001, but the book was first published in 1997) 6. “To be a Christian as a member of Christianity amounts to belonging to one religion among many. It may be more or less pure than others. It would, however, represent not only an abuse of language but an abusive language to denounce other religions as false or incomplete.” (Raimundo Panikkar). 7. Christianity as a form of idolatry and atheism Christianity has accustomed itself to viewing other religions as “idolatry” and itself as the true religion founded by God himself. However, as important Christian theologians such as Karl Barth and Cantwell Smith have confessed, it has increasingly become clear to many that such a view is pure arrogance. History shows that Christianity is not the perfect divine religion it claims to be. Indeed various forms of idolatry are found within Christianity itself. These include, among others, Christian view of Jesus, the Bible, the Church and Christianity itself as a religion, the truth of Christian theologies, the way Christians view themselves, and Christian arrogant and distorted view of other religions. Indeed many Christian thinkers are now aware that Christianity like many other world religions is man-made, and as such it stands in opposition to the Will of God. Man-made Christianity is a form of idolatry, even Atheism. A of the most outspoken exponent of this form of criticism is the famous theologian Karl Barth who pointed out the utter inadequacy of Christianity as an expression of that which it ought to express. In fact Karl Barth made the following observation: “We must insist, therefore, that at the beginning of a knowledge of the truth of the Christian religion, there stands the recognition that this religion, too, stands under the judgment that religion is unbelief… Concretely this judgment affects the whole practice of our faith: our Christian worship, our forms of Christian fellowship and order, our Christian morals, poetry and art, our attempts to give individual and social form to the Christian life, our Christian strategy and tactics in the interest of our Christian cause,

40 in short our Christianity, to the extent that it is our Christianity, the human work which we undertake and adjust to all kinds of near and remote aims and which as such is seen to be on the same level as the human work in other religions. This judgment means that all this Christianity of ours, and all the details of it, are not as such what they ought to be and pretend to be… What we have here is in its own way - a different way from that of other religions, but no less seriously - UNBELIEF, I.e. , opposition to the divine revelation, and therefore ACTIVE IDOLATRY and self-righteousness.” Cited by Wilfred Cantwell Smith, The Meaning and End of Religion. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991); p.304 8. Deconstructing Christianity as a form of idolatry (by Cantwell Smith): “Much though I admire some of Bishop Heber’s other hymns, such as his widely used “Holy, Holy, Holy,” yet I have certainly objected to the lines that run, “The heathen in his blindness bows down to the wood and stone,” ever since I came to recognize that in that situation it was the missionary, rather, that was blind. Of course, I have not been alone among Christians in feeling restless with the attitude set forth in that type of wording…Christians have often been accused of being, and have come to recognize themselves as indeed having been arrogant and disdainful in their fundamental metaphysical view of other religious practitioners. For centuries it was Jews who paid the chief price for this profound Christian error, and the Church has fortunately become repentant, to a considerable degree, about its resulting horrendous treatment of the Jews over the ages…Much of the (Christian) Church now recognizes that its former attitude to other religious communities was wrong. It has been slowly wrestling with the question of what will be involved in setting it right; what new attitude may legitimately replace that old one... Idolatry is not a notion that clarifies other religious practices or other outlooks than one’s own. Idolatry denigrates one’s neighbour by leaving out the transcendence of his or her position…The word idolatry or “idol-worship” (as applied by Christians to non-Christian religions) must be rejected because the conception that it usually communicate is one that distorts what it purports to name… No one has ever worshipped an idol. Some have worshipped God in the form of an idol: that is what the idols are for. The important issue for our purposes here remains that of whether one applies the notion of idolatry to the religious life of all communities, or instead endeavours to exempt one’s own giving it a privileged status or supposing that God has given it that. We would do well, on the other hand, to recognize that we Christians have substantially been idolaters,

41 insofar as we have mistaken for God, or as universally final, the particular forms of Christian life or thought. Christianity - for some, Christian theology - has been our idol. For Christians to see Christ as divine is a perception (put in conceptual terms), a perception that their own personal experience, and two thousand years of Church history, elicit and confirm. It is, however, impossible to perceive him as the sole such mediator; although one can hold this as a theological proposition… One cannot perceive the non-divinity of Krishna, or of the Qur’an. To believe that other groups’ forms are not divine is purely doctrinal construct. To hold that Buddhist, or post-Biblical Jewish, life is not the locus of God’s salvific activity, fully comparable to God’s activity in Christian life, is a sheer man-made hypothesis. The position has - inescapably - no direct grounding in reality. The doctrine of the divinity of Christ is a conceptual form of Christians’ knowledge of God. The doctrine of other religious patterns’ non-divinity is an intellectual formulation of ignorance: an ignorance of the life of those for whom those patterns are rich. For Christians to think that Christianity is true, or final, or salvific, is a form of idolatry. For Christians to imagine that God has constructed Christianity, or the Church, rather than that He has inspired us to construct it, as He has inspired Muslims to construct what the world knows as Islam, or Hindus what is miscalled Hinduism, or inspired Bach to write the B Minor Mass - that is idolatry…Exclusive or final claims for one’s own (religion, theology) is idolatry in the pejorative sense… Christian theologies are ‘idols.’ Theologies are conceptual images of God. But they are not God. God does not reveal theologies, but himself. Every theology is finite, human and mundane (not divine). Every theology is a human construct, and conveys a very limited truth.Theologies are always approximations to truth. Our knowledge of God and our theologies can never be complete, nor final. So to absolutize one’s own theology is idolatry. It is wrong for our intellects to absolutize their own handiwork.” Cantwell Smith, Idolatry in Comparative Perspective. And Cantwell Smith, Towards A World Theology, p.180 4. An Islamic Attitude toward other Religions 4.1. Ibn Arabi (1165-1240, a Sufi) proclaimed the following: “My heart has opened unto every form. It is the pasture for gazelles, A cloister for Christian monks, A temple for idols, The Ka’ba of the pilgrim, The tablets of the Torah and the book of the Koran. I practice the religion of Love; in whatsoever directions its caravans advance, the religion of Love shall be my religion and my faith.” 4.2. Persian mystic al-Rumi, 1207-1273 RUMI proclaimed in some of his poems the following “The man of God is beyond infidelity and religion The man of God is not learned from book…

42 I am neither Muslim nor Christian Jew nor Zoroastrian; I am neither of earth nor of the heavens, I am neither eastern nor western Neither heavenly nor earthly, I am neither of the natural elements nor of the rotating spheres. I am neither from India nor China, From neither Bulgaria nor Tabriz, From neither the country of Iraq nor the land of Khurasan. My sign is without sign, my locus is without locus, It is neither body nor soul for I am myself the Soul of souls. Since I expelled all duality, I see the two worlds as one. I see the One, I seek the One, I know the One, I call upon the One. 4.3. “Difference of opinion within my community is a sign of the bounty of Allah.” (The Prophet Muhammad) 4.4. “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (Koran 2:257) 4.5. “No Man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself… Noblest Religion is this – that you should like for others what you like for yourself; and what you feel painful for yourself, hold that as painful for all others too.” (The Prophet Muhammed) 5. BUDDHIST ATTITUDE TOWARD OTHER RELIGIONS Buddhism believes that when a person advances far enough in the Spiritual Path of Dharma she will find herself beyond what people usually call faith, religion, gods and spiritual beings. While standing beyond gods, and believing in the power of the Dharmic Truth, Buddhism profoundly tolerates and respects other religions and their practices. One important consideration for the spread of Buddhist Dharma is the flexibility Buddhism allows in matters that religions traditionally focus on. There is plenty of room in the Buddhist cosmology for gods and goddesses, demons and devils, ancestors, nats, shen, gui, kami, and whatever other spritual beings people believe they have to deal with to live a happy live. As Buddhism spread from people to people, it left many of the traditional religious practices intact - for finally they have little importance, positively or negatively, for the Buddhist path of liberation. Let the nat wives, the shamanesses, the exorcists, and the ritualists ply their trade and deal with the supernatural world for the material welfare of the people. The path of liberation is a different matter, and when one advances far enough in the Dharma she will find herself beyond these gods and spiritual beings. The life and Teaching of King Ashoka illustrate well Buddhist attitude toward other religions As the British Lord Acton recognized, the Buddhist king Ashoka was the first sovereign in history to enact religious toleration in 250 B.C.E. He is one of the first rulers in human

43 history to exalt the virtues of tolerance and civility, 250 years before the birth of Jesus, and almost two thousand years before the US first amendment, the US and UN bills of Rights and before the French declaration of human rights. Ashoka’s 12th edict was a positive and powerful plea for toleration among the various religions and sects of the day. Toleration was not passive sufferance but an active search for dialogue and concord, based upon the notion that in the honoring of other sects lies the welfare and honor of one’s own. An individual or a group is enhanced by the display of active tolerance and genuine fellow-feeling. Concord was regarded as meritorious and it was required that all sects should listen to and profit from each other. The 12th Major Rock Edict says: “On each occasion one should honour another man’s sect (religion), for by doing so one increases the influence of one’s own sect and benefits that of the other man… Whosoever honours his own sect or disparages that of another man, wholly out of devotion to his own, with a view to showing it in a favourable light, harms his own sect even more seriously. Therefore, concord is to be commended, so that men may hear one another’s principles and obey them. Theodore M. Ludwig, The Sacred Paths of the East; p.127): Raghavan Iyer, The moral and Political Thought of Mahatma Gandhi. Oxford University Press, 1973; pp.245-246.

6. HINDU VISION OF OTHER RELIGIONS

6.1. The Vedas maintained that the various religions are but different languages through which God speaks to the human heart: "Truth is one; sages call it by different names." "Religions are like music or painting, their beauty comes from the difference and variety of colors and sounds." 6.2. Swami Vivekananda proclaimed: “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal tolerance, but we accept all religions as true. As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different paths which men take through different tendencies various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.” Cited by Lewis M. Hopfe and Mark R. Woodward, Religions of the World. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2004; p.72 6.3. Ramakrishna (19th century A.D.) After seeking God successively through the person of Christ, the teaching of the Koran, and a variety of Hindu God-embodiments, RamaKrishna, a Hindu saint, declared that in each instance the result was the same: the same God was revealed, now incarnate in Christ, now speaking through the Prophet Muhammad, now in the guise of Vishnu the Preserver or Shiva the Completer. From his experience, Ramakrishna articulated a set of teachings on the essential unity of the great religions:

44 "People partition off their lands by means of boundaries, but no one can partition off the all-embracing sky overhead. The indivisible sky surrounds all and includes all. So people in ignorance say, "My religion is the only one, my religion is the best." But when a heart is illuminated by true knowledge, it knows that above all these wars of sects and sectarians presides the one indivisible, eternal, all-knowing bliss. There was a man who worshipped Shiva but hated all other deities. One day Shiva appeared to him and said, "I shall never be pleased with you so long as you hate the other gods." But the man was inexorable. After a few days Shiva again appeared to him and said, "I shall never be pleased with you so long as you hate." The man kept silent. After a few days Shiva again appeared to him. This time one side of his body was that of Shiva, and the other side that of Vishnu. The man was half pleased and half displeased. He laid his offerings on the side representing Shiva, and did not offer anything to the side representing Vishnu. Then Shiva said, "Your bigotry is unconquerable. I, by assuming this dual aspect, tried to convince you that all gods and goddesses are but various aspects of the one Absolute Brahman." As a mother, in nursing her sick children, gives rice and curry to one, and sago arrowroot to another, and bread and butter to a third, so the Lord has laid out different paths for different people suitable for their natures. God has made different religions to suit different aspirations, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God Himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion. One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way. As one and the same material, water, is called by different names by different peoples, one calling it water, another eau, a third aqua, and another pani, so the one Everlasting-Intelligent-Bliss is invoked by some as God, by some as Allah, by some as Jehovah, and by others as Brahman. Everyone should follow one's own religion. A Christian should follow Christianity, a Muslim should follow Islam, and so on. For the Hindus the ancient path, the path of the Aryan sages, is the best. As one can ascend to the top of a house by means of a ladder or a bamboo or a staircase or a rope, so diverse are the ways and means to approach God, and every religion in the world shows one of these ways." 7. African view of Religious Tolerance 7.1. African traditional religion is one of the ways in which Africans have experienced God’s salvific activity in their history, which is an affirmation of God’s presence with African people. This should come as no surprise since God is the God of all humankind and he is not so unkind as to withhold his presence from others. God’s divine truth and salvation have not been confined to a favoured few; on the contrary, God is God because he is accessible to all, and his revelation does not lead to the denial of his presence in certain areas of the world and an affirmation of his presence elsewhere ... The good elements in African traditional religions were put there by God and this clearly demonstrates that God has no favourites and that he shares his truth with all, but does not hide it from others and share it only with those whom he favours. The African religious experience helps to give us a broader and much deeper understanding of God, and rescues us from the limitations which partial human appropriation of God’s activity and revelation tend to place on God… The practitioner’s own view of his religion is important for a wholesome and unjaundiced understanding of African traditional religion. The labels which have been applied to it have all been from the observer’s point of view, for it is quite certain that if the practitioner pouring libation at the foot of a tree were

45 asked to explain what he was doing, he would not say that he was practicing ‘paganism’ or ‘worshipping nature,’ as observers are wont to describe such acts. African traditional religion represents the serious effort of the culture of our forebears in which the “spirit of God was an active agent,” for clearly and unequivocally, we can affirm that God has not been absent from all our serious efforts to make sense of our own life and destiny from the days of our earliest forebears up to our own time.” Opoku, Kofi Asare, “African Traditional religion: An enduring heritage” in Olupona, Jacob K. and Nyang, Sulayman S., eds., Religious Plurality in Africa. (Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993); pp. 69-70. 7.2. Contrary to the dogmatic doctrines of idolatry found in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, African traditional religions are fundamentally tolerant vis-à-vis other religions. In this the African spirit is similar to that of Hinduism. This spirit of tolerance is grounded in creation myths which teach that God created all humans and all nations. As the father of all, God does not discriminate in religious matters. He reveals the truth to all. Subsequently other religions are viewed as different manifestations of the same Truth revealed by God. According to the Yoruba creation myth, the Yoruba God as father of the whole universe created black and white people, albinos and hunchbaks, the Yoruba people, and all other nations as well. Consequently the Yoruba regard all human beings as kin, so much so that most prayers and invocations offered in Ile-Ife are deemed incomplete until prayers are offered for the people of the entire universe (agbala aye gbogbo), who are regarded as having had their origin in Ile- Ife. The Yoruba religion is not an exception in this regard. When we move from West Africa to East Africa, thousands of miles away, we find the same theology in Kenya where a “Meru Prayer” explicitly links prayer for one’s family and country to prayer for “the trouble of other nations”:

Kirinyaga (God), owner of all things, I pray to Thee, give me what I need,… And also the trouble of the other lands That I do not know, remove.

It is worth noting that this prayer ends with the astonishing invocation for “unknown nations.” This is quite remarkable, especially when compared to the biblical psalms and prayers of “revealed religions” or to the fundamental prayer of civil religion: “God Bless America” or “God Save the Queen.” In Yoruba religion, the High God Orinsala, the molder of human bodies, is praised as “the husband of hunchback”(Oko abuké), “the husband of lame” (Oko aro), and “the husband of dwarf with a big fat head”( Oko arara bori pèté). The Dogon maintain that God created all human beings, and all the races, but used the light of the moon “to cook the bodies of white people” while he used the light of the sun for those of black peoples. Other myths maintain that God used clay of different colors. In sum, God is the universal creator, father and mother of all human beings, of the poor and the rich, the fortunate and the unfortunate, and of members of all different religions. African traditional religions have been from time immemorial characterized by a profound spirit of religious tolerance, which derives from the ancestral belief in the unity and diversity of truth. In her History of Christianity in Africa since antiquity, Elizabeth Isichei reports a story which illustrates well this tradition. The event took place at the beginning of missionary Evangelization of Africa in the 19th century. After reaching San Salvador, the capital of ancient Kongo empire, in 1879, the first Baptist missionaries were soon joined by French

46 Spiritans and, immediately, a bitter competition started, thus introducing in Central Africa the kind of religious war Protestants and Catholics were used to in Europe. The fact that the Evangelization of the Kongo by Portuguese Catholics during the 15th century was in decline, appeared to Protestants as the evidence of the intrinsic spiritual inadequancies of Roman Catholicism. On their part, Spiritans considered the Kongo Kingdom a private property of Roman Catholic mission which first introduced Christianity there in the 15th century. In order to claim what they regarded as their “right” Spiritans went to brief the Kongolese King, Pedro V, Henrique’s successor, on the “heresiarchs and chief Heretics” of Protestantism. Amazed by this new vision of religion, the King rejected their plead, declaring explicitly:

You white men, you perplex me with your different teachings. I do not know how to choose between you... I shall keep both these palavers in my heart, and when I appear before God, He must decide and judge both.

As many other scholars have pointed out for decades, it is basically in the field of religious liberty that Africa brings a major contribution to the world. According to the Catholic theologian, Benezet Bujo, religious wars were unknown in African traditional society. Summarizing the Islamic view, Ali Mazrui, a muslim scholar, is more explicit :

Of the three principal religious legacies of Africa (indigenous, Islamic, and Christian), the most tolerant on record must be the indigenous tradition. One might even argue that Africa did not have religious wars before Christianity and Islam arrived, for indigenous religions were neither universalist (seeking to convert the whole of the human race) nor competitive (in bitter rivalry against other creeds)... Like Hinduism and modern Judaism-and unlike Christianity and Islam- indigenous African traditions have not sought to convert the whole of humanity. The Yoruba do not seek to convert the Ibo to the Yoruba religion-or vice versa-and neither the Yoruba nor the Ibo compete with each other for the souls of a third group, such as the Hausa. Because they are not proselytizing religions, indigenous African creeds have not fought with each other. Over the centuries, Africans have waged many kinds of wars with each other, but they were rarely religious ones before the universalist creeds arrived.

Writing from the perspective of the Yoruba religion of Nigeria, Abimbola observed that religious tolerance comes from creation myths which maintain the idea of a universal common descent of all human beings from the same God creator, Obatala:

In the African primal traditions there is a continuing witness against violence, brute force and intolerance of each other’s beliefs. The African point of view is one in which there is respect for all the religious traditions of humankind. While we hold steadfastly to our own beliefs, we respect the right of others to practice their own religions in their own ways, provided they do not infringe on the right of other people. Furthermore, we believe that religious freedom is a condition precedent to world peace and individual freedom. We believe that we all can live together in peace if we are prepared to respect one another’s point of view.

This traditional spirit of religious tolerance epitomized by the extraordinary harmonious

47 coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Senegal, and some other countries constitute in this era of rising fundamentalism one of most important contributions of Africa to the liberation of the world from religious extremism and “sacred” violence. It is however fitting to conclude this exploration with the view of a brilliant mind, the Nigerian writer and philosopher, Wole Soyinka (Nobel Prize laureate):

Tolerance means humility, not daring to presume that one has found the ultimate answer to Truth or daring to claim that only through one’s intuitions will be found the sole gateway to Truth. All the major religions, the so-called world religions that are built on such claims, have inflicted competitive agonies on humanity since the beginning of time. It is time that we call such religions to their own altars of repentance. There are religions in the world that point the way to the harmonization of faiths; it is the loss of the world that many of them are little known, their unassuming, ancient wisdoms being superstructurally dwarfed by the – admittedly – often awe-inspiring monuments on the world’s landscape – cathedrals, mosques, temples, and shrines, and indeed by the challenging paradoxes of their exegeses – I say “paradoxes” because they are no more than intellectual constructs on foundations of the unproven and unprovable. The disquisitions – just to take one singe but mesmerizing aspect of Christian theology – on Transubstantiation alone since the textualization of Christianity will fill an average university library… Before Islam or Christianity invaded and subverted our worldviews, before the experience of enslavement at the hands of both Arabs and Europeans, the African world did evolve its own spiritual accommodation with the unknown, did evolve its own socio-economic systems, its cohering systems of social relationships, and reproduced its own material existence within an integrated worldview, that those systems are still very much with us and have indeed affected both liturgy and practice of alien religions even to the extent of rendering them docile and domesticated. Thus, whenever, in contemporary times, the aggressive face of one or the other of these world religions is manifested, our recourse is primarily to the strengths of those unextinguished virtues of our antecedent faiths, the loftiest of which will be found to be expressed in such attitudes of tolerance - the genuine, not the nominal, rhetorical, or selective kind, not tolerance as an academic exercise of exterior comparisons, but one that is demonstrable by the very histories of our deities…, as recorded in their mythologies… A periodic visitation to the world of the Yoruba – or indeed to any of the “invisible” worldviews – must be deemed a contemporary necessity for millions of Africans, including the non-Yoruba, the non-Christian, the non-moslem, as well as Christians and Moslems, for whom this will surely serve as a catalyst for a systematic assessment of their own cultures and values. The gods are paradigms of existence. Monotheism is thus only an attempted summation of such paradigms… We find, therefore, that Revelation as Infallibility is a repugnant concept in Yoruba religion – how can you reveal as infallible the aspects of what are in themselves only the projected ideal of human strivings! If the source of such striving

48 – the mortal vessel – is fallible, then its vision, its revelation of ultimate possibilities, must be constantly open to question, to testing, by the elected human receptacle and other human vessels to which such revelations are transmitted. By the same proceeding, the notion of ‘apostasy’ is inconceivable in Yoruba religion, that alleged crime of mortal damnation – in the eye of some acclaimed world religions – where the only guaranteed cure is execution, preferably by the supposedly Salvationist means of stoning to death. It was an unfortunate accident that Religion and Theology were ever linked with philosophy, a paradoxical coupling, since philosophy means a love of – and, consequently, a search for, indeed a passion for –truth. I say paradoxical because the experience of our world has been the very opposite. The dominant religions of the world and their theologies as perceived in present day have meant not the search for or the love of, but the sanctification and consolidation - at whatever cost, including massacres and mayhem - of mere propositions of Truth, declared Immutable Revelation. It has meant the manipulation of Truth, the elevation of mere Texts to Dogma and Absolutes, be those Texts named Scriptures or Catechism. This failure to see transmitted Texts, with all their all-too- human adumbrations, as no more than signposts, as parables that may lead the mind toward deeper quarrying into the human condition, its contradictions and bouts of illumination, a reexamination of the phenomena of Nature, of human history and human strivings, of building of Community – it is this failure that has led to the substitution of dogma for a living, dynamic spirituality. And this is where the Yoruba deities have an important message to transmit to the world. There is an urgency about this, as the world is increasingly taken over by the most virulent manifestations of dogmatic adhesion, the nurturing terrain of which even tends to undermine my earlier attribution of such eruptions to Textual or Scriptural authority. In many of these instances, the defenders of the Text have never even seen the Test or are incapable of reading them, yet they swear by them and indeed presume to act on them.

References Soyinka, Wole, “The Tolerant Gods,” in Olupona, Jacob K. and Terry Rey, eds., Orisha Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yoruba Religious Culture. (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2008) Wande Abimbola, “Ifa: A West African Cosmological System.” in Thomas D. Blakely, et al., eds., Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression. (London and Portsmouth: James Currey and Heinemann, 1994); p.111. Isichei, Elizabeth,A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995); p.186. Bujo, Bénézet, African Theology in Its Social Context (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1992), p.55 Mazrui, Ali, “Africa and Other Civilizations: Conquest and Counterconquest” in Harbeson, John W. and Rothchild, Donald, eds., Africa in World Politics: Post-Cold War Challenges. (Boulder, San Francisco: Westview Press, 1995), p.77

49 Abimbola, Wande, “The Attitude of Yoruba Religion Toward Non-Yoruba Religion” in Swidler, Leonard and Mojzes, Paul, eds., Attitudes of Religions and Ideologies Toward the Outsider (Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1990); p.145. A. Shorter, ed., The Word That Lives: An Anthology of African Prayers, mimeo, n.d., p.32. cited by Laurenti Magesa, African Religin; the Moral Traditions of Abundant Life. (New York, Maryknoll: Orbis books, 1997); pp.197-198. Part 2. WHY STUDY AFRICA? WHY DOES AFRICA MATTER TO US? (Are we all African?) => Africa is a microcosm of world spirituality: today is a melting pot of world religions: There Christians, Muslims, Jews, and practitioners of Asian religions, interact with practioners of ancient Ancestral religions. => ATR is the foundation that, in part, gave birth to the Bible, Judaism and Christianity. The contribution of Africa to the Bible, to religious ideas and language of Judaism and Christianity is now well proven by scholars of world religions. => If scientists are correct in believing that Africa is the cradle of humanity, then it logically follows that Africans were the first people to invent religion or to worship God and that Africa is the birth place of world religions, world spirituality and world’s ideas of morality. => To understand ourselves, and understand humanity as such, we need to understand Africa. => ATR is one of the foundations of African Christian theology. => ATR is the foundation of African civilization, African Spirituality, Morality, African names and identity, and African understanding of what it means to be a genuine human being, a good father, a good mother, a good ruler, etc Introductory remark “The root problem that indigenous nations and peoples face is that they are still being deemed irrelevant by nation-states, based on having been historically nullified under Christian international law… As a result, the laws and policies of the dominant society treat Indigenous homelands and environments as a readily available supply of ‘natural resources’ and ‘commodities’ that are simply waiting for ‘development.’”

50 Cited by Graham Harvey, ed., Indigenous Religions. A Companion (London, New York:Cassell, 2000), p.45. It is still common to hear people refer to African religion in terms that are pejorative and negative… But this is changing rapidly as many African intellectuals and practitioners of African religion are expressing in powerful terms their own commitments to certain moral principles and ethical values of African religion… In many respects it has been the revival of African philosophy and ideas in the minds of Africans in the Diaspora that has caused a transformation in the way we view African religion. If African religion is gaining increasing adherents it is through the acceptance of the ideas and values of African religion by Africans in the United States, Brazil, Cuba, and the Caribbean. It is as if those who are the descendents of Africans who were brought to the Americas centuries ago have demonstrated an intense interest in the recovery and promotion of the African religion. Having seen the inadequacies of the religions of the West, many Africans in the Americas are looking to traditional rituals, texts, proverbs, and oral histories to provide new ways of viewing life. Molefi Asante and Emeka Nwadiora, Spear Moasters: An Introduction to African Religion. New York: University Press of America, 2007, p.vii (Preface) WHY STUDY AFRICA AND AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS? 1. “Truth is one; sages call it by various names” (Rig Veda) Cited in Mary Pat Fisher, Living Religions, 8th edition, New York: Prentice Hall, 2011; p.74 2. “Indigenous religions are the majority of world religions; they constitute the majority of the total religious experience of humankind. “It is important to study basic religions (that is indigenous religions) because they represent the majority of the total religious experience of humankind. (Humans have been active on planet Earth for more than 100,000 years. And yet Judaism, Christianity, Islam and even the Major Asian religions, occupy a very short period in this long history: 4000 years only!.)” Adapted from Lewis M. Hopfe and Mark R. Woodward, Religions of the World, p.14. => In other words, the survival of old indigenous religions is a major asset for world spirituality. 3. "Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto" (I am a man and nothing human is alien to me). Terence (Famous African playwright in the Roman empire) 4. “The change that the new situation (of the global village) requires of us all – we who have been suddenly catapulted from town and country onto a world stage is staggering. Twenty- five hundred years ago it took an exceptional man like Diogenes to exclaim, “I am not an Athenian or a Greek but a citizen of the world,” Today we must all be struggling to make those words our own. We have come to the point in history when anyone who is only Japanese or American, only Oriental or Occidental, is only half human. The other half that beats with the pulse of all humanity has yet to be born.”

51 (Huston Smith, The World’s Religions. HarperSanFrancisco, 1991; p.7) 5. “There is every reason for us to know something about Africa and to understand its past and the way of life of its peoples. Africa is a rich continent that has for centuries provided the world with art, culture, labor, wealth, and natural resources. It has vast mineral deposits, fossil fuels, and commercial crops. But perhaps most important is the fact that fossil evidence indicates that human beings originated in Africa. The earliest traces of human beings and their tools are almost two million years old. Their descendants have migrated throughout the world. To be human is to be of African descent. The experiences of the peoples who stayed in Africa are as rich and as diverse as of those who established themselves elsewhere.” George C. Bond, PhD., Director of the Institute of African Studies, Columbia University, New York. He made this statement in the “Introduction” to the book Luba (by Mary Nooter Roberts and Allen F. Roberts; New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 1997); p.6 6. “If archaeologists are correct in believing that the first human beings came from Africa, then it stands to reason that the first religions also originated there… It is possible that, as the earliest humans slowly migrated to other continents of the world, they carried with them religious ideas and practices that originated in Africa.” Robert M. Baum, “Indigenous Religious Traditions” in Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, A Concise Introduction to World Religions. (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 15-17. 7. AFRICAN ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND AND RELIGION (by Robert Fisher, American missionary) The fundamental belief among many scientists is that the transformation of an archaic human form to a modern form of Homo Sapiens occurred first in Africa about 100,000 to 150,000 years ago. From Africa this most recent ancestor migrated to spread over the face of the earth. All human beings therefore descended from Africans…. The Africans were the first human beings to dance and reflect on their humanity in terms of a world beyond the physical, the spiritual order of gods and ancestors. The Africans were the messengers of art and of the good news about a world beyond the mere mundane earth.” Robert B. Fisher, West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998), pp.13-15; 30.

We shall now develop these 7 theses in various points in the following pages Part 2.1. The “Cradle of Humanity” theory and its implications for world civilizations and religions Genesis of the Earth: 4.6 Billion B.P. Origin of life (single-celled creatures): 3.6 Billion B.P. Origin of pre-Humans: 5-1million years ago

Development of hominid “ancestors” of humankind (Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus)

52 Origin of Humanity: 100, 000 years ago (homo sapiens sapiens)

300,000-100,000: Emergence of anatomically modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens in Africa

100,000 some humans leave Africa to populate other continents 100,000: Africans in the Middle East Between 50,000 and 15,000: Europe, Asia, Americas 40,000: Africans well established in Europe 35,000: Africans in Australia 30,000: Africans in China (between 35,000 and 30,000) 30,000-15,000: Africans in the Americas 12,000: Africans reach the tip of South America.

Origin of History and Civilizations: 10,000 B.C.

Slow development of civilization: farming, metallurgy, urban life or villages, art and music.

Origin of major religions and civilizations: 5000- 2000 B.C.

Great historical civilizations emerge in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, and China Origin of current major world religions (2000 BC-1600 CE):

Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam 26, 000 BC: first evidence of ATR on rock painting in Namibia

African traditional religions originated more than 28,000 years ago in the Bantu area that spans roughly from Nigeria to South Africa. The oldest evidence of African religious expression is found on rock painting in southern Namibia in the Apollo XI cave dated some 28,000 years ago.

=>See Maret, Pierre de, Archaeological and other prehistoric evidence of traditional African religious expression in Blakely, Thomas D., et al., Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression (Portsmouth: Heinemann,1994); p.186. AFRICA AS THE CRADLE OF HUMANITY: Key texts summarizing the theory regarding the cradle of humanity

Text 1.AFRICA THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND AND CIVILIZATION

Jackson J. Spielvogel (Professor at the Pennsylvania State University) opens his textbook on “Western Civilization” with chapter one on “The Ancient Near East: the First civilizations” in which he boldly states the following: “All humans today, whether they are Europeans, Australian Aborigenes, or Africans, belong to the same subspecies of human being. The first anatomically modern humans, known as Homo Sapiens Sapiens appeared in Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years

53 ago. They began to spread outside Africa around 100,000 years ago… By 10,000 B.C., members of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species could be found throughout the world… Western civilization can be traced back to the ancient Near East, where people in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed organized societies and created the ideas and institutions that we associate with civilization. The later Greeks and Romans, who played such a crucial role in the development of Western Civilization, where themselves nourished and influenced by these older societies in the Near East. It is appropriate, therefore, to begin our story of Western civilization in the ancient Near East with the early civilization of Mesopotamia and Egypt.” Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization. Volume 1: to 1715. (Thomson Wadsworth, 2003), pp.2-3.

Text 2. AFRICAN ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND AND RELIGION (by Robert Fisher, American missionary) Reflecting on the discoveries of linguistics, genetics, paleontology, and history of art, the American missionary Robert Fischer comes to the logical conclusion on the significant role played by Africa in the origin of world religions and their basic symbols and rituals, and religious language:

The scientists, whose job is to look for fossil remains and to dig for archeological evidence of human origins, have probably demonstrated quite well for us that the earliest human life forms appeared in East Africa over a million years ago. These paleoanthropologists maintain that the first humans evolved in Africa and migrated to Europe and Asia. These earliest human life are referred to as Homo erectus. The evolution from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens is explained in various ways. Some believing in the “multiregional hypothesis” claimed that some Homo Sapiens developed in Africa, another in Europe and another in Asia. But other scholars maintain that all humans that inhabit the earth today came out of the Homo Sapiens that evolved in Africa (“Out of Africa” theory).Scientists at Berkeley, California, and at Emory, in Atlanta, by looking at patterns of genetic variation of mitochondrial DNA among human populations, determined that Africans, of all existing populations, have the deepest genetic roots. Since only women are the bearers of a type of “genetic time-clock,” the African woman stands out as the model of a kind of “Mitochondrial Eve.” Thus genetic evidence point to the origin of humankind from a “Black Eve.” All humanity descends from a Black African woman. The fundamental belief among many scientists is that the transformation of an archaic human form to a modern form of Homo Sapiens occurred first in Africa about 100,000 to 150,000 years ago. From Africa this most recent ancestor migrated to spread over the face of the earth. All human beings therefore descended from Africans. This implies that not only humanity, but also language, culture, civilization and religion were born in Africa… Until about 1950 it was assumed that the Afroasiatic language family had been introduced into Africa from neighboring Asia, but now it is widely held that it originated in Africa west of the Red Sea. It includes the Semitic languages of southwestern Asia, such as Arabic, Hebrew, and ancient Aramaic, and the ancient Egyptian, Berber, Chadic, Cushitic,

54 and Omotic languages of northern and northeastern Africa… The point we make here is that since the cradle of humanity was probably Africa – or, at least, one important segment of the species Homo Sapiens evolved out of an early genetic pool in Africa – one could claim that dance, ritual, and ceremony are the dramatic elements of the religious traditions that are still extant today all over sub-Saharan Africa and have spread from there over the face of the earth. The African is a person of dance. The Africans were the first human beings to dance and reflect on their humanity in terms of a world beyond the physical, the spiritual order of gods and ancestors. The Africans were the messengers of art and of the good news about a world beyond the mere mundane earth.” Robert B. Fisher, West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998), pp.13-15; 30.

Text 3. A summary of the controversy (by Stephen Howe) The study of human origins is inherently laden with ideology and emotion – more so than almost any other kind of intellectual inquiry. Certainly palaeoanthropology, the science of humanity’s biological emergence and development, has been marked by a history of bitter and often highly personalized confrontations, as Roger Lewin’s, or Erik Trinkaus and Pat Shipman’s, fine popular histories of the subject show. Most recently, the fierce antagonisms between Donald Johansen and Timothy White, leading rival research teams in Ethiopia, or between Milford Wolpoff and Chris Stringer, have hit the world’s media headlines (e.g. Fitzgerald 1995). Indeed, a degree of emotional intensity unmatched in any other ‘exact’ science is imparted to the discipline by the very questions it asks. Where did we come from? How, and why, did our species turn into what it is? That emotional resonance around the history of human physical emergence is equaled or exceeded in the case of the origins of civilization – or rather, of the bundle of attributes to some or all of which the title civilization is conventionally given: the births of agriculture, urbanization, literacy, large-scale political forms, ethical and religious beliefs, technologies, systems of abstract or speculative thought, and so on. In fact the emotional stakes are, if anything, higher for this latter question, because it interrelates more closely and evidently with contemporary political concerns. These include issues of race, nationalism and political geography – relating above all to the places of Europe on the one hand, Africa on the other, in the story. Archaeology has thus become even more intensely politicized than palaeoanthropology, on issues ranging from the relevance to the ancient past of modern theories of imperialism, through the agonizings of South African archaeologists about their work’s political implications, to the demands of Native American and other indigenous peoples for control over and reburial of their ancestors’ skeletal remains. Most generally of all, there is unending dispute in many different contexts between ‘diffusionists’ and isolationists’: those who are keen to identify the patterns by which ideas, cultures or technologies spread from some places to others, and those who want to find independent – sometimes multiple – local roots for them. As we shall see, some proponents of each approach accuse the champions of the other of racism; and, perplexingly, both are sometimes right.

55 So far as human physical origins are concerned, it has long been widely accepted that the earliest directly traceable ancestors of Homo Sapiens appeared in eastern Africa. The major controversies of recent years have been over where in East Africa the first identifiably direct proto-human was witnessed; such as those between Richard Leakey, whose discoveries were in Tanzania and Kenya, and Donald Johansen, who worked in Ethiopia. The honour of being the cradle of humanity was, almost without doubt, Africa’s… On the issue of the birthplace of the earliest hominids, then, first Johansen’s ‘Lucy’, then Timothy White’s 1994 discovery of considerably older hominid remains, also in Ethiopia, seemed to give the Africanists a decisive upper hand. However, there is still argument between those who think that modern humanity developed from several distinct hominid population groups, in several different regions, around the same time, and those who propose that not only did early hominids emerge in Africa, but modern humans also all share a much more recent common African ancestor. Ideas about race are deeply involved in the background of this controversy, and became overt especially in the bitter exchanges over Carleton Coon’s championing of the ‘multiple origins’ viewpoint, which he linked to claims that many thought overtly racist. Both sides in the dispute call on genetic as well as fossil evidence. This has been most dramatically deployed on the Africanists’ side, with the 1987 claim by Rebecca Cann, Mark Stoneking and Allan Wilson that all modern humans could be traced, on the basis of a worldwide DNA survey, to a single African woman who lived about 200,000- years ago. Inevitably, popular coverage of the scientific claim dubbed this putative universal ancestress ‘Eve.’ Eve, even more than Lucy, has evident utility for antiracists and universalists, as well as for those predisposed to claims of African priority. She is apparently powerful evidence for close human familyhood: we all have a relatively recent common ancestor. And she was African – though the fact that she was female reflects only the fact that mitochondrial DNA tests allow scientists to trace maternal, but not paternal, lineages far back in time; and of course they do not tell us her skin colour. There are strong arguments from fossil and other evidence, as well as genetic research, for believing that well after the first diffusion of hominids from Africa, a second dispersal of clearly modern human beings – our more immediate and direct ancestors – sallied forth out of Africa to populate the globe, replacing prior Neanderthal and other populations in Eurasia. It is argued that this second group were the descendants of ‘Eve.’ But the case was still not proven: critics have claimed to find serious methodological flaws in Cann and al.’s work. Alternative readings of the evidence might, it was suggested, propose non-African or, indeed, multiple sites of origin. In 1997, however, dramatic and in many eyes decisive new evidence appeared to support the Africanists’ case. Scientists at Munich University succeeded in extracting and analyzing DNA from Neanderthal bones, and found genetic variation so great that it appeared impossible for Neanderthals and modern humans to have shared a common ancestry. The ideas of multiple origins for modern humanity proposed first by Franz Weidenreich and then updated by Carleton Coon – they even have some echoes of pre- Darwinian ‘polygenist’ theories of human origins, which said that different races were separate species – are given far greater scientific rigour in Milford Wolpoff’s work. Wolpoff and his co-thinkers, it must be emphasized, do not attempt and would not desire to link arguments about early human origins to contemporary racialized thought in the ways Weidenreich and Coon did(though some other contemporary theorists, like Richard Lynn and Philippe Rushton, certainly do proclaim such links). Erik Trinkaus and Pat Shipman suggest

56 that the earlier storms had scared scholars away from addressing these issues. Carleton Coon’s critics had exhibited ‘outspoken moralizing and merciless judgemental quality… stony undertones of political correctness’ in attacking his alleged racism. They go on:

The public attacks on Coon impressed an entire generation of anthropologists with the notion that any discussion or even acknowledgment of racial differences would call similar censure down on their heads… Race was not only not a fit subject to study: it didn’t even exist… race went underground. By becoming unseeable, unknowable, and intangible, race became a threatening and all-powerful issue.

There are, I think, better reasons than Trinkaus and Shipman suggest for extreme skepticism about using the language of race. Their implication that race was not a ‘threatening and all- powerful issue’ when its presence was extremely overt, and that it became so only when it ‘went underground’, is quite evidently false. But they are certainly right to suggest that its banishment from the surface of scientific, discourse has not necessarily weakened its power. As we shall discover, it continues to raise its head in almost every imaginable context: often with the ironic or tragic twist that it is African and Afro-American intellectuals who have most vehemently insisted on the reality and centrality of race to human history. Moreover, hypotheses of a recent, common ancestor for all human groups do not necessarily buttress antiracist beliefs. Palaeoanthropologist William Howells and biochemist Vincent Sarich suggest that differentiation into the races identified today begun only well after Eve, let alone Lucy. It came about 15,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. This is a claim that can be used – as it is, in highly polemical and controversial form, by Sarich – to argue that racial distinctions are extremely important. For such allegedly very large differences, both physical and cultural, among human groups as are shown throughout recorded history to have emerged so very quickly indicates that they resulted from intense pressures of natural selection. It is quite reasonable, then, to think that these also produced dramatic differences in the psychological nature of races: for instance, in intelligence or emotional make-up. The serviceability of such ideas, even if they are true, to racial theory, and especially claims of African inferiority, may, however, be doubtful. One reason for doubt is that it can be argued that Sarich makes a radically false inference: it is more plausible to think that rapid emergence of diversity reflects not just environmental selective pressures but intelligent adaptation to those pressures, indicating the shared high intelligence of all human groups. As we shall see later in relation to arguments over civilizational origins, both environmental determinism, and diffusionism as opposed to theories of multiple origins, can be deployed by all sides of modern historico-political debates. Certainly it is hard to mount arguments based on human physical diversity which would mark off Africans from ‘the rest’ as a preliminary to asserting mental or behavioural differences. Africa is the most diverse of the continents in physical types with, for instance, both the tallest and the shortest people. Nor is it easy to use environmental determinism to such ends, unless the simple fact of warm temperatures is to be the yardstick – which, as we

57 shall see, it has often and crudely been… Beyond the basic fact that most of Africa is warmer, most of the time, than most of Eurasia, there are few environmental factors common to the whole continent – common to rainforest and desert, swamp and savannah, ecosystems rich in edible plants and animals and those extremely poor in them. In any case, noting Africa’s probable primacy in humanity’s biological emergence provides no answer to the characteristic European sneers that ‘humanity may have first developed in Africa, but has long ceased to continue developing there.’ The struggle for the claim to have originated ‘civilization’ is even more important to present-day racial and other ideologies. On one level, it might be said that there is no great argument here, certainly less than there is over the physical location of the earliest hominids – few scholars doubt that most, at least, of the major components of ‘civilization’ came together first in Mesopotamia, in the region of what is now Iraq. Any dispute on the lines of ‘Which came first, Africa or Europe?’ might appear to be a red herring, for the evident answer is: neither. But things are not so straightforward as that. Certainly such major features of ‘civilization’ as literacy and urbanization appeared in Egypt very soon after they did in southwest Asia – and it remains possible that some did so a touch earlier. It is also by no means sure that if such features did first occur in Mesopotamia, they necessarily spread from there to Egypt. The developments may well have been parallel and independent of one another, just as some archaeologists believe that the crystallization of urban, literate cultures just a little later still in the Indus Valley, and then in China, were autonomous rather than being products of diffusion. In other words, even if Egypt was not quite first, its culture may have been substantially original and indigenous – or as much so as any culture ever is. There is also an intriguing possibility – it can at present be put no higher than that – that sophisticated toolmaking, and a recorded number system, emerged in tropical Africa much earlier than anywhere else. Archaeologists Alison Brooks and John Yellen have uncovered at Katanda in former Zaire bone harpoons and other implements which have been dated at c.90,000 years old, and are more advanced than any Eurasian finds of more than half that age. However, this remains an isolated find, the dating is controversial, and the significance for claims about African culture primarily is regarded with great skepticism by many other scholars. Earlier in the same region, Belgian colonial geologist Jean de Heinzelin found what he believed to be evidence of a counting system, etched on bones, which he thought must have been communicated to ancient Egypt. This idea has been treated even more skeptically than have Brooks’s and Yellen’s find… It might also be suggested that wherever in West Asia or North Africa the major features of ‘civilization’ originated, the Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures interacted so closely from – at the latest – 1500 BCE onwards that in important ways they formed a single civilizational complex. Howe, Stephen, Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes. (London: Verso, 1999); pp.28-33.

58 Text 4. A summary by John Reader OUT OF AFRICA Several strands of evidence – fossil, genetic, and linguistic – point persuasively to the conclusion that every person alive today is descended from a population of anatomically modern humans that existed only in Africa until about 100,000 years ago, when some migrated from the continent and progressively populated the entire globe… Humans dominate the Earth and have been to the moon. We see visions of the future in the mind’s eye, and turn them to reality with the aptitudes and talents which evolution bestowed – in Africa. The first fossil evidence of anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens, ever found is one of the most famous discoveries in palaeoanthropology: Cro-Magnon Man, found in 1868. Cro-Magnon Man had occupied a rock-shelter in the Dordogne region of southern France around 30,000 years ago, but of course his ancestors had evolved in Africa, with highly developed brains and elaborate cooling systems. The oldest known fossil evidence of their existence has come from caves in the mountains of Zululand; from cliff-shelters on the Indian Ocean shoreline of South Africa; and from the savanna environments of the Rift Valley basins in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Beyond Africa, the fossil remains of anatomically modern humans have also been found in the Middle East, China, Borneo, Java, and Australia, as well as in Europe. The African fossils are up to 100,000 years old, while their non-African counterparts are all significantly younger. This implies that anatomically modern humans from Africa were ancestral to all non-African populations and their modern descendants. The German anthropologist Günter Bräuer investigated this question, and published his “Afro-European sapiens hypothesis” in 1984. Bräuer reviewed the fossil evidence in detail, looking not only at specimens of anatomically modern humans but also at Homo erectus and archaic Homo Sapiens. The African fossils he examined came from sites in Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. The specimens were numerous and dated from between 500,000 and 30,000 years ago. Some possessed features of an archaic nature, others were entirely modern. Noting a trend of evolutionary development, Bräuer concluded that anatomically modern humans had evolved in East Africa from the pre-existing hominid stock not less than 150,000 years ago. Thereafter they spread rapidly throughout the length and breadth of the continent. From among those who exploited the resources of the Nile Valley and reached the Delta, small numbers migrated along the shores of the Mediterranean into the Middle East, and thence into Europe, Asia, Australasia, and the Far East. The fossil evidence shows that modern humans were present in the Middle East by around 100,000 years ago; populations that turned north from that point were well established in Europe by 40,000 years ago. Those that turned east has reached Australia by 35,000 years ago at the latest, and were in China before 30,000 years ago. From Asia, groups of modern humans crossed the Bering Straits into North America between 30,000 and 15,000 years ago, when sea levels were low, and had dispersed down to the tip of South America by 12,000 years ago. Bräuer has constructed his model of how modern humans had populated the world from the evidence of the past: fossils. Meanwhile, scientists in the United States were reconstructing the past history of human populations from evidence of the present: genes. A group of geneticists at the University of California at Berkeley analysed the mitochondrial DNA (abbreviation: mtDNA) of different groups of people around the world, and found that more mutations had occurred among Africans than among or between any other groups.

59 The mitochondria are discrete parts of the cell which play a vital role in the energy production systems of living organisms. In effect, mitochondria are the “powerhouses” of the cell, and such a fundamental function has endowed them with a very stable structure. Furthermore, the mtDNA molecules are identical in every cell of an individual; mitochondria themselves reproduce by cloning, that is, asexually, by division, but are inherited only from the female parent because the mitochondria in sperm cells disintegrate at fertilization. Clonal reproduction and female inheritance leave mtDNA unaffected by the recombination of genes that occurs in the reproduction of nuclear DNA. Mutations pass intact from generation to generation. Each mtDNA molecule carries in its sequence the history of its lineage, which makes it a wonderful tool for determining the evolutionary distance between closely related species and populations. The Berkeley geneticists counted up and compared mtDNA mutations in 147 women from different populations around the world. The greatest degree of variation was found among indigenous people in Africa, and significantly less among non-Africans. In fact, the mtDNA of an individual born in England and another born in New Guinea was more alike than the mtDNA of two individuals from Nigeria. These findings showed that a greater time-depth of mutation was preserved among people in Africa, while everyone else shared a predominance of mutations which had accumulated in the relatively recent past. Setting these measures of difference against calculations of the rate at which mutations occur, the geneticists concluded that the entire population of the modern world was descended from a relatively small group of people that left Africa about 100,000 years ago. Extrapolating still further from the present into the past, they claimed that the distinctive form of modern humans had evolved between 140,000 and 290,000 years ago, in Africa. Furthermore, the geneticists concluded that every human being alive today carries the mtDNA of just one African woman who lived more than 10,000 generations ago. This does not mean that she was the only woman alive at that time, simply that her mtDNA steadily became dominant as some maternal lineages disappeared with each succeeding generation (not every mother produces a daughter to whom the mtDNA is passed on). After about 10,000 generations all but one of the founding maternal lineages would have become extinct, so that all living progeny carried the mtDNA of a single founding female line. The geneticists referred to this ancestor as “our common mother,” but she quickly became more popularly known as “the African Eve.” The genetic research convincingly supported the “Afro-European sapiens hypothesis” which Brauer had formulated on the basis of the fossil evidence. The results were disputed by statisticians, who identified inaccuracies in the computing procedures by which the single African origin of human populations had been derived. However, while these objections drew attention to inadequacies of statistical method they did not invalidate the evidence. The greater genetic diversity of African lineages remained unchallenged. Indeed, the significance of these findings was reinforced in 1991 by the results of another worldwide study conducted by a team of geneticists from Stanford and Yale universities headed by Luigi Cavalli-Sforza. Cavalli-Sforza and his team analysed an entirely different set of DNA data, but also concluded that the “result is exactly what one would expect if the African separation was the

60 first and oldest in the human family tree.” Furthermore, they found that the distribution of genes among human populations correlates surprisingly well with that of languages. A genetic tree showing the evolutionary origins of forty-two populations from around the world closely matches their linguistic affiliations: the most recent language differences, such as have arisen among the Pacific islanders, for instance, replicate the extent of their genetic differences. And in both the genetic and the linguistic evidence, the largest and therefore oldest differences occur between group and the rest of the world population. So the evidence from fossils, genes, and languages all points to an African origin of modern humans in the relatively recent past. Reader, John, Africa: A Biography of the Continent. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998); pp.91-95 Text 5 Out Of Africa' Theory Boost: Skull Dating Suggests Modern Humans Evolved In Africa http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070112104129.htm January 12, 2007 (Source: Max Planck Society) Science Daily — Reliably dated fossils are critical to understanding the course of human evolution. A human skull discovered over fifty years ago near the town of Hofmeyr, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, is one such fossil. A study by an international team of scientists led by Frederick Grine of the Departments of Anthropology and Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York published in Science magazine has dated the skull to 36,000 years ago. This skull provides critical corroboration of genetic evidence indicating that modern humans originated in sub-Saharan Africa and migrated about this time to colonize the Old World. (Science January 12, 2007) The Hofmeyr Skull. Scientists have now dated the skull as being 36,000 years old. The great similarity of this skull to skulls of the same age from Eurasian finds confirms the "Out of Africa"-hypothesis. Modern humans broke out of their place of origin around 40,000 years ago - from Africa south of the Sahara - and populated the world. "The Hofmeyr skull gives us the first insights into the morphology of such a sub-Saharan African population, which means the most recent common ancestor of all of us - wherever we come from," said Grine. Although the skull was found over half a century ago, its significance became apparent only recently. A new approach to dating developed by Grine team member Richard Bailey and his colleagues at Oxford University allowed them to determined its age at just over 36,000 years ago by measuring the amount of radiation that had been absorbed by sand grains that filled the inside of the skull’s braincase. At this age, the skull fills a significant void in the human fossil record of sub-Saharan Africa from the period between about 70,000 and 15,000 years ago. During this critical period, the archaeological tradition known as the Later Stone Age, with its sophisticated stone and bone tools and artwork appears in sub-Saharan Africa, and anatomically modern people appear for the first time in Europe and western Asia with the equally complex Upper Paleolithic archeological tradition.

61 In order to establish the affinities of the Hofmeyr fossil, team member Katerina Harvati of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, used 3- dimensional measurements of the skull known to differentiate recent human populations according to their geographic distributions and genetic relationships. She compared the Hofmeyr skull with contemporaneous Upper Paleolithic skulls from Europe and with the skulls of living humans from Eurasia and sub-Saharan Africa, including the Khoe-San (Bushmen). Because the Khoe-San are represented in the recent archeological record of South Africa, they were expected to have close resemblances to the South African fossil. Instead, the Hofmeyr skull is quite distinct from recent sub-Saharan Africans, including the Khoe- San, and has a very close affinity with the European Upper Paleolithic specimens. The field of paleoanthropology is known for its hotly contested debates, and one that has raged for years concerns the evolutionary origin of modern people. A number of genetic studies (especially those on the mitochondrial DNA) of living people indicate that modern humans evolved in sub-Saharan Africa and then left between 65,000 and 25,000 years ago to colonize the Old World. However, other genetic studies (generally on nuclear DNA) argue against this African origin and exodus model. Instead, they suggest that archaic non-African groups, such as the Neanderthals, made significant contributions to the genomes of modern humans in Eurasia. Until now, the lack of human fossils of appropriate antiquity from sub- Saharan Africa has meant that these competing genetic models of human evolution could not be tested by paleontological evidence. The skull from Hofmeyr has changed that. The surprising similarity between a fossil skull from the southernmost tip of Africa and similarly ancient skulls from Europe is in agreement with the genetics-based "Out of Africa" theory, which predicts that humans like those that inhabited Eurasia in the Upper Paleolithic should be found in sub-Saharan Africa around 36,000 years ago. The skull from South Africa provides the first fossil evidence in support of this prediction. Reference: F.E. Grine, R.M. Bailey, K. Harvati, R.P. Nathan, A.G. Morris, G.M. Henderson, I. Ribot, A.W.G. Pike. Late Pleistocene Human Skull from Hofmeyr, South Africa and Modern Human Origins. Science, 12. January 2007. Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Max Planck Society. Part 2.2. IMPLICATIONS OF THE CRADLE OF HUMANITY’S THEORY: Africa: Cradle of humanity, origin of language and civilization, and origin of religion. IS WESTERN CIVILIZATION A DAUGHTER OF AFRICAN CIVILIZATION? AFRICAN CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD, AND SPECIFICALLY TO WESTERN

62 CIVILIZATION The Gift of Humanity itself

(Africa the mother or cradle of Humankind) Contribution to human languages Contribution to Religion and spirituality

• Contribution to Greek and Roman religions • Contribution to the Bible • Contribution to Judaism • Contribution to Christianity and its theology

Contribution to Greek Philosophy and Greek science Contribution to World Politics (Law, Democracy, Human Rights). Contribution to World Economy Contribution to Art

A. African contribution to world civilization and religion in general

- 1. Robert Baum - 2. Robert Fisher - 3. Bernard Comrie, Stephen Matthews, and Maria Polinsky (Linguistics) - 4. Jared Diamond

1. “If archaeologists are correct in believing that the first human beings came from Africa, then it stands to reason that the first religions also originated there… It is possible that, as the earliest humans slowly migrated to other continents of the world, they carried with them religious ideas and practices that originated in Africa.” Robert M. Baum, “Indigenous Religious Traditions” in Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, A Concise Introduction to World Religions. (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 15-17. 2. Satement by Robert Fisher An American Christian missionary Reflecting on the discoveries of linguistics, genetics, paleontology, and history of art, the American missionary Robert Fischer comes to the logical conclusion on the significant role played by Africa in the origin of world religions and their basic symbols and rituals, and religious language:

“The Africans were the first human beings to dance and reflect on their humanity in terms of a world beyond the physical, the spiritual order of gods and ancestors. The Africans were the messengers of art and of the good news about a world beyond the mere mundane earth…The scientists, whose job is to look for fossil remains and to dig for archeological evidence of human origins, have probably demonstrated quite well for us that the earliest human life forms appeared in East Africa over a million years ago. These paleoanthropologists maintain that the first humans evolved in Africa and migrated to Europe and Asia. These earliest forms of human life are referred to as Homo erectus. The evolution from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens is explained in various ways. Some believing in the “multiregional hypothesis” claimed that some Homo Sapiens developed in Africa, another in Europe and another in Asia. But other scholars maintain that all humans that inhabit the earth today came out of the Homo Sapiens that evolved in Africa (“Out of Africa” theory).Scientists at Berkeley, California, and at Emory, in Atlanta, by looking at patterns of genetic variation of mitochondrial DNA among human populations, determined that Africans,

63 of all existing populations, have the deepest genetic roots. Since only women are the bearers of a type of “genetic time-clock,” the African woman stands out as the model of a kind of “Mitochondrial Eve.” Thus genetic evidence point to the origin of humankind from a “Black Eve.” All humanity descends from a Black African woman. The fundamental belief among many scientists is that the transformation of an archaic human form to a modern form of Homo Sapiens occurred first in Africa about 100,000 to 150,000 years ago. From Africa this most recent ancestor migrated to spread over the face of the earth. All human beings therefore descended from Africans. This implies that not only humanity, but also language, culture, civilization and religion were born in Africa… Until about 1950 it was assumed that the Afroasiatic language family had been introduced into Africa from neighboring Asia, but now it is widely held that it originated in Africa west of the Red Sea. It includes the Semitic languages of southwestern Asia, such as Arabic, Hebrew, and ancient Aramaic, and the ancient Egyptian, Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, and Omotic languages of northern and northeastern Africa… The point we make here is that since the cradle of humanity was probably Africa – or, at least, one important segment of the species Homo Sapiens evolved out of an early genetic pool in Africa – one could claim that dance, ritual, and ceremony are the dramatic elements of the religious traditions that are still extant today all over sub- Saharan Africa and have spread from there over the face of the earth. Robert B. Fisher, West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998), pp.13-15; 30.

3. “Many scholars also now believe that mankind originated in Africa, and that all living humans must trace descent from an original African population... The origin of language may lie in sub-Saharan Africa with the emergence of modern humans.”

Bernard Comrie, Stephen Matthews, and Maria Polinsky, eds., The Atlas of Languages. The Origin and Development of Languages Throughout The World. (New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1996); pp.72 and 74.

4. “We’re taught that Western civilization originated in the Near East, was brought to brilliant heights in Europe by the Greeks and Romans, and produced three of the world’s great religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Those religions arose among people speaking three closely related languages, termed Semitic languages: Aramaic (the language of Christ and the Apostles), Hebrew, and Arabic, respectively. We instinctively associate Semitic peoples with the Near East. However, Greenberg determined that Semitic languages really form only one of six or more branches of a much larger language family, Afro-asiatic, all of whose other branches (and other 222 surviving languages) are confined to Africa. Even the Semitic subfamily itself is mainly African, 12 of its 19 surviving languages being confined to

64 Ethiopia. This suggests that Afroasiatic languages arose in Africa, and that only one branch of them spread to the Near East. Hence it may have been Africa that gave birth to the languages spoken by the authors of the Old and New Testaments and the Koran, the moral pillars of Western civilization.”

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. (New York/London: W.W. Norton & company, 1999), p.383.

B. African contribution to Western Civilization I. Contribution to the Religions and Spiritual Values of the West or Europe 1. Contribution to ancient religions of Greece and Rome

- 1.1. Herodotus - 1.2. Isis

1.1. Herodotus (484-425 B.C., Father of Western History)

History, Book II (paragraphs 50,51,52 and 104): “Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt. My inquiries prove that they were all derived from a foreign source, and my opinion is that Egypt furnished the greater number. For with the exception of Neptune and the Dioscuri, whom I mentioned above, and Juno, Vesta, Themis, the Graces, and the Nereids, the other gods have been known from time immemorial in Egypt. This I assert on the authority of the Egyptians themselves. The gods, with whose names they profess themselves unacquainted, the Greeks received, I believe, from the Pelasgi, except Neptune. Of him they got their knowledge from the Libyans, by whom he has been always honoured, and who were anciently the only people that had a god of the name. The Egyptians differ from the Greeks also in paying no divine honours to heroes. Besides these which have been here mentioned, there are many other practices whereof I shall speak hereafter, which the Greeks have borrowed from Egypt… In early times the Pelasgi, as I know by information which I got at Dodona, offered sacrifices of all kinds, and prayed to the gods, but had no distinct names or appellations for them, since they had never heard of any. They called them gods (Theoi, disposers), because they disposed and arranged all things in such a beautiful order. After a long lapse of time the names of the gods came to Greece from Egypt, and the Pelasgi learnt them, only as yet they knew nothing of Bacchus, of whom

65 they first heard at a much later date. Not long after the arrival of the names they sent to consult the oracle at Dodona about them. This is the most ancient oracle in Greece, and at that time there was no other. To their question, "Whether they should adopt the names that had been imported from the foreigners?" the oracle replied by recommending their use. Thenceforth in their sacrifices the Pelasgi made use of the names of the gods, and from them the names passed afterwards to the Greeks…There can be no doubt that the Colchians are an Egyptian race. Before I heard any mention of the fact from others, I had remarked it myself. After the thought had struck me, I made inquiries on the subject both in Colchis and in Egypt, and I found that the Colchians had a more distinct recollection of the Egyptians, than the Egyptians had of them. Still the Egyptians said that they believed the Colchians to be descended from the army of Sesostris. My own conjectures were founded, first, on the fact that they are black-skinned and have woolly hair, which certainly amounts to but little, since several other nations are so too; but further and more especially, on the circumstance that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians, are the only nations who have practised circumcision from the earliest times. The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine themselves confess that they learnt the custom of the Egyptians; and the Syrians who dwell about the rivers Thermodon and Parthenius, as well as their neighbours the Macronians, say that they have recently adopted it from the Colchians. Now these are the only nations who use circumcision, and it is plain that they all imitate herein the Egyptians. With respect to the Ethiopians, indeed, I cannot decide whether they learnt the practice of the Egyptians, or the Egyptians of them- it is undoubtedly of very ancient date in Ethiopia- but that the others derived their knowledge of it from Egypt is clear to me from the fact that the Phoenicians, when they come to have commerce with the Greeks, cease to follow the Egyptians in this custom, and allow their children to remain uncircumcised. I will add a further proof to the identity of the Egyptians and the Colchians. These two nations weave their linen in exactly the same way, and this is a way entirely unknown to the rest of the world; they also in their whole mode of life and in their language resemble one another.” Herodotus, History, Book II. 1.2. Isis “The movement among Greeks and other Mediterranean peoples to worship the gods under their Egyptian names began well before Alexander’s conquests and the syncretism of Hellenistic times. In the tradition of Homer, Herodotus wrote in his book “Histories” (book II) published in about 450 BC that the names of nearly all the gods came to Greece from Egypt. Early in the 5th century BC the poet Pindar wrote a “Hymn to Ammon,” which opened “Ammon king of Olympos.” By the 4th century Ammon was being worshipped in Athens, and one of its sacred triremes was dedicated to him. Alexander the great clearly considered himself to be a son of Ammon and he was portrayed on the coins as a horned Ammon. In the last year of his life Alexander dressed himself and demanded worship in the guise of a number of gods and goddesses and he even desired people to bow to the earth before him, from the idea that Ammon was his father rather than Philipp. Ptolemy and his successors, right up to the Kleopatra made great use of Egyptian religion. Plutarch spelled out in detail the general image of Egyptian religion that appears to have been common among cultivated Greeks, at least since the 4th century BC. The Egyptian mother goddess Isis had been worshipped in Athens since the 5th century BC, not merely by resident Egyptians but by native Athenians. By the 2nd century BC there was a temple of Isis near the Acropolis and Athens was officially encouraging its dependencies to take up Egyptian cults. Even on Delos, especially sanctified to Apollo, cults of Isis and Anubis were made

66 official in a move that was in no way connected to the Ptolemaic kingdom which had lost control of the island by that time. By the 2nd century AD Pausanias reported that Egyptian temples or shrines in Athens, Corinth, Thebes and many places in the Argolid, Messenia, Achaia and Phokis. It should be stressed that Greece had experienced only part of a wave that had spread throughout the Roman Empire. For instance, the most important shrines discovered at Pompeii from 79 AD-when it was overwhelmed by the eruption of Venuvius- were “Egyptian.” Tiberius had banished Egyptian -and Jewish- religion from Rome itself. But the cults were soon restored and later emperors, particularly Domitian and Hadrian, were passionately devoted to the Egyptian gods. Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Caracalla, Diocletian and other emperors visited Egypt and all reports emphasized how respectful they were towards Egyptian religion and culture.” Martin Bernal, Black Athena. Vol. 1: The fabrication of Ancient Greece (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987); pp.98-99;114-117) 2. Contribution to the Bible, Judaism, and Christianity

- 2.1. Isis in Europe - 2.2. Egyptian origin of Monotheism (Assmann) - 2.3. Testimony of the Bible - 2.4. Testimony of Scholars of world religion - 2.5. Jared Diamond (African origin of the languages of the Bible and the Koran) - 2.6. Egypt and Israel - 2.7. Testimony of Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI

2.1. The influence of the Egyptian Isis religion in Europe (According to Dr. R.E. Witt of the University of London) To us in Western Europe today the Egypt of the Pharaohs is a strangely remote and lost land. The temples and pyramids, the creeds and cults of the Nile elude our understanding. A modern mind is easily baffled by the apparent confusions and illogicalities of Egyptian religion. For our western world to appreciate the civilization of the Nile is hard... Its culture and its gods, we tell ourselves, belong to a past we have long outgrown. Of course, our Occidental society today is firmly founded on long Christian and Graeco-Roman tradition. But this in turn did not arise in vacuo. If we look beneath the surface we can find links between our present-day modes of thinking and the wisdom of Egypt... Our Western world’s Graeco-Roman and Christian civilization has emerged and taken shape out of the cultural melting pot of the Near East. Historians however have not always acknowledged how potent a factor in this process was the religion of Egypt. From Memphis and Alexandria the cult of Isis and her Temple Associates shed an incalculable influence on other rival faiths, including even Christianity... Plato’s fellow Greek, Herodotus, had earlier stayed in Egypt and had written about its religion; he concluded that its gods had been appropriated by the cities of

67 Greece. A full-scale investigation in a field which appears neglected is long overdue...Worship of the Egyptian goddess Isis dates as far back as 2500 B.C. and extended at least until the fifth century A.D. throughout the Roman world. The importance of her cult is attested to in Apuleius’s Golden Ass, and evidence of its influence has been found in places as far apart as Afganistan and Portugal, the Black Sea and northern England… In the Graeco- Roman world Isis came to win the unswerving love and loyalty of countless men and women of every rank. Her names were infinite and her wisdom immeasurable. She did not allow room for any quarrel between science and religion, for racial discrimination and segregation according to the colour of one’s skin. For Plutarch, ‘wise and wisdom-loving’ Isis was a ‘philosophic’ divinity, sharing in the love of the Good and the Beautiful and imbued with the purest principles. She taught her followers to pursue penitence, pardon and peace. Elsewhere she is characterized as being the inventress of all, as having divided earth from heaven, as making the universe spin round and as being triumphant over Fate, Fortune and the Stars. She was tender-hearted as a mother. On the whole human race she could be thought to bestow her love, being its never-absent redeemer and its haven of rest and safety, the Holy One – sancta et humani generis sospitatrix perpetua. The friend of slaves and sinners, of the artisans and the downtrodden, at the same time she heard the prayers of the wealthy, the unblemished maiden, and the aristocrat and the emperor. For her sake women could both fast and make merry. She prevailed through the force of love, pity, compassion, and her personal concern for sorrows such as she had herself known… For countless numbers of men and women in the Graeco-Roman world Isis remained what she had been in the Black Land of the Pharaohs: Mother of the God, Mistress of the Word in the beginning, Mistress of Eternity, Source of grace and truth, Source of Resurrection and Life, The Supreme Deity as maker of Monarchs Many centuries before the Christian Era Isis had been revered in the Nile Valley as the Unique and Incomparable. So she for long remained, creating as she had always done, her own beauty and perfection. Lady of the House of Life, Shelter of the Living and of the Dead, We do well, therefore, to see her steadily and to see her whole – Isis, the great ruler of the Graeco-Roman world, ever active and magical with her gifts of knowledge, power and wisdom, the eternal mainspring of men’s deepest faith, hope and love. In the capital of the world empire established by Augustus the religion so ardently professed by the Nile’s final sovereign had for long been familiar. During the Republican period its career had been chequered. When the Empire emerged the cult of Isis became a thriving influence, which no political pressure could stop…. Isis was indeed the darling goddess of many Roman Emperors… The emperor Commodus was so much addicted to the faith of Isis that, besides shaving his head and carrying an image of Anubis, he ‘fulfilled all the pauses’. The pause in its literal sense meant a stop at stated intervals for the singing of hymns to the goddess. Isis and her cult appear on Greek Imperial and Roman coins. Otho is recorded to have taken part openly in the rites of Isis only half a century after the death of Augustus…The roman emperor Gaius followed the example of the Pharaohs by marrying his own sister Drusilla and listened in true Isiac style to an Egyptian soothsayer who forecast the emperor’s death on the very day it happened. Gaius first gave the Isiac cult state recognition, and had an Egyptian obelisk brought to Italy… Offerings to Isis were made by people of importance during the reign of emperor Claudius and a military tribune who served under

68 him in Britain held an Egyptian life priesthood and a priest of Isis dedicated a marble tablet for the Empress Agrippina…. To hold that the Egyptian goddess Isis was the forerunner of Catholicism’s Mary, Mother of God, is to raise the question of the uniqueness of Christianity… Giordano Bruno, the unfrocked monk, perished on 16 February 1600, for his intransigent denial that Christianity was unique. He was convinced that the wisdom and magic-born religion of ancient Egypt excelled the fanatical theology that burnt dissident thinkers as heretics….For Bruno the most acceptable theology was what had arisen in ancient Egypt, Bruno’s was an Egyptianizing religion. Our Western world today needs such a critical mind for a comparative study of the faiths of Isis and Jesus. Certainly the resemblances exist… The ritual of the Christian Church owes a considerable and unacknowledged debt to the Egyptian religion that preceded it in the Graeco-Roman world… The triad of Christian virtues, Faith, Hope and Love, so eloquently praised in Corinthians, is introduced in such a way as to suggest that the writer of what is obviously an aretalogy is taking a close look at contemporary cults. He mentions the gift of tongues, a gift on which much stress is laid in the New Testament. The followers of Isis held that she controlled the various tongues, ‘dialects’, that prevailed in the world…The virtue of Faith in Christian context is inseparable from Love. Religious belief of this kind was not unknown to the followers of Isis. The ‘Love’ (agape) which is the crowning virtue is apparently not restricted to Christianity. According to the received text of the Oxyrhynchus Litany, agape is a cult name for Isis, who in Egyptian tradition as old as the Pyramid Texts personifies tenderness, compassion and divine love….. The time has come for Christian churches to acknowledge that the roots of the ‘new’ religion they exist to uphold were abundantly watered not just by the Jordan but also by the Nile, and that one of their holy cities long ago was Alexandria…. Today, the debt to a civilization long ago Christianized must be readily granted by those who deal with religious origins… Our theories need to be modified… We need the intellectual colloquy of Athens and Alexandria, and nowhere more urgently than in the field of religious experience. What the western world today upholds as the inveterate tradition of its own formative Christianity gains in value when correlated with even earlier tradition. A principle in all our thinking must be the conviction that theological speculations have never arisen in vacuo. It is a platitude that the pantheon of Greece and Rome did not suddenly fall down flat like the walls of Jericho. What is not so well understood is how this classical polytheism before it was finally assaulted by the Church had undergone a manifold foreign infiltration in which one of the strongest influences was Egyptian… Even when the cause of the monks and the bishops had triumphed the distinction between ANKH and cross was blurred, and the Sanctus bell still tinkled like the Isiac sistrum. Holy aspersions were practiced as in the past…The church uneasily accommodated the ‘Horus- born’ theologian Origen as well as sixteen Serapions. From Isis herself stem such Christian names as Ision and Paesis, to say nothing of over forty Isidores. Clearly the Pauline view of Isiacism was penetratingly critical. Paul’s world was a patriarchy, his is religion was Christological and monotheistic, and God was found in fashion as a man. Isis was female, Isis was the champion of Idolatry, and Isis was the lover of the Nile menagerie. And yet the Pauline and the Isiac faith had at least one common characteristic.

69 Each swept aside racial and social distinctions. “There is neither Greek nor Jew…Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Change Christ to Isis – and the words are still true….

R.E.Witt, Isis in the Ancient World. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997; First edition in 1971). Dr. R.E. Witt (1903-1980) taught at Queen Mary’s College, University of London. His book is the first study to document the extent and complexity of the Isis cult’s influence on Graeco-Roman and early Christian culture. 2.2. Akhenaton and the origins of Monotheism in ancient Egypt King Amenophis IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten or Akhan-yati (“Beneficial for the Aten”) and ruled Egypt for seventeen years in the middle of the fourteenth century B.C.E., is the first founder of a monotheistic counter-religion in human history. Freud was correct in stressing this point… The Amarna religion (Akhenaton’s reformation of ancient Egyptian religion) has some similarities to Biblical monotheism in its later stages. It is not merely antipolytheistic, but also rationalistic. I agree with Freud that the Amarna religion exhibits tendencies toward what Max Weber called the “disenchantment of the world” in its rejection of magical practices, sacramental symbolism (“idolatry”), and mythological imagery… The story of Moses the Egyptian is a story of religious confrontation and the overcoming of it. The name of Moses is associated with a counter-religion that defined its identity in contradistinction to Egyptian “idolatry.” Making Moses an Egyptian amounts to abolishing this defining opposition. Tracing Moses and his message back to Egypt means leaving the realm of “revealed” or “positive” religion and entering the realm of lumen naturale: experience, reason, tradition, and wisdom. Starting in Hellenism and continuing through modernity up to Freud, the Mosaic project was interpreted as the claim for unity: there is but one God, the invisible source of all. The counter-religious antagonism was always constructed in terms of unity and plurality. Moses and the One against Egypt and the Many. The discourse on Moses the Egyptian aimed at dismantling this barrier. It traced the idea of unity back to Egypt (i.e the idea of the unity or oneness of God was first born in Egypt, under Akhanaton, and Moses may have borrowed this idea from Egypt). This notion of Egyptian monotheism is not the figment of scholars’s imagination. It is clearly stated in various Egyptian texts that define God as “the One Alone who created what is,” “the One who is All,” “the One who makes himself into millions.” Some texts clearly state that God is the million into which he has transformed himself. Million is said to be his body, his limbs, and even his name: “million of millions is his name.” However by transforming himself into the millionfold reality, God has not ceased to be one. He is the many in that mysterious way, hidden and present at the same time in all gods, humans, and nature. Assmann, Jan, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); pp.168-169; 206. 2.3. Testimony of the Bible “As the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had solemnly made to Abraham, our nation in Egypt grew larger and larger, until a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing of Joseph. He exploited our race, and ill-treated our ancestors, forcing them to expose

70 their babies to prevent their surviving. It was in this period that Moses was born, a fine child and favored by God. He was looked after for three months in his father’s house, and after he had been exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. So Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became a man with power both in his speech and his actions.” (Acts 7, 17-22, Stephen’s Speech. From The Jerusalem Bible). 2.4. Testimony of scholars of world religions 2.4.1. “As far as Christianity is concerned it may now be argued that, supported by the broader historical background, it had fiery Hebrew religion as its father. Egypt was its mother; Mesopotamia stood as godparent; Hellenism served as midwife. Throughout her life of almost two millennia, this Christian daughter born of Mother Egypt has remained relatively well informed about her ancient Hebrew paternal tradition-being reminded of it constantly by the Hebrew origins of its early layer of sacred scriptures. At the same time the mature daughter, Christendom, to this day has not been told about the identity of her deceased mother religion-whose theological and soteriological temperament she closely resembles. The ancient Egyptian civilization and its concomitant religiosity provided Hebrew religious tradition with its raison d’être. Egyptian theology furnished Greek philosophers, beginning with the Ionians and concluding with the Neoplatonists, with their ontological presuppositions. And Hebrew and Egyptian religion, assisted by Neoplatonism, contributed content and structure to orthodox Christian theology.” Karl W. Luckert, Egyptian Light and Hebrew Fire: Theological and Philosophical Roots of Christendom in Evolutionary Perspective (New York: State University of New York Press, 1991, pp. 27-29). 2.4.2. “During the second millenium B.C.E., respect for Egyptian achievements in the arts, sciences, and religion spread throughout the Mediterranean world. The Hebrew Bible refers to the “wisdom of Egypt,” and early Greek philosophers like Thales and Pythagoras reportedly studied geometry in Egypt. Osiris and Isis were numbered among the official gods of the Roman Empire, and the promise of immortality in the Osiris myth may have influenced the Orphic mysteries of ancient Greece and prepared the way for Christianity. Furthermore, the Egyptian concept of Mayet ( Maat), or world order, may have influenced the philosophy of Stoics, as well as the Logos of Saint John’s gospel. Egyptian influences have survived to the present, Statues of Isis with the infant Horus in here arms are thought to have inspired the Madonna and child motif of the Christian tradition. Masonic ritual still keeps alive the memory of Egypt, as does the popular belief in spells, oracles, and astrological lore. In addition, the idea that divine wisdom or revelation should be written down and collected and that written books (scrolls) have greater prestige than oral traditions does seem to be largely and Egyptian invention. It was a popular assumption among the Greeks and Romans that books of revelation came from Egypt.”(p.53) Religions of the World (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993, Third edition). This important textbook is written by several scholars from important American universities: Norvin Hein (Yale University), Frank E. Reynolds (University of Chicago), Laura Grillo (University of Chicago), Niels C. Nielsen, Jr.(Rice University),....

71 2.4.3. “For three millennia, from the first dynasty around 3100 B.C.E. to the first centuries of the Common Era, when Egypt converted to Christianity, the rich and diverse elements of Egyptian religion were practiced. (...)The culture of Egypt attained high developments in religious ideas and also in artistic expression. In their religious interests the ancient Egyptians created a vast literature. Their very large sacred literature included mythological texts, guides for the dead, prayers, hymns, ... and philosophical wisdom texts. (...) The wisdom of Egypt influenced the Israelite religion as well as Greek philosophers.”(pp.30-33) Theodore M. Ludwig, The Sacred Paths of the West New York: Macmillan College Publishing Company, 1994. 2.5. The authors of the Bible and the Koran spoke languages of African origin “We’re taught that Western civilization originated in the Near East, was brought to brilliant heights in Europe by the Greeks and Romans, and produced three of the world’s great religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Those religions arose among people speaking three closely related languages, termed Semitic languages: Aramaic (the language of Christ and the Apostles), Hebrew, and Arabic, respectively. We instinctively associate Semitic peoples with the Near East. However, Greenberg determined that Semitic languages really form only one of six or more branches of a much larger language family, Afro-asiatic, all of whose other branches (and other 222 surviving languages) are confined to Africa. Even the Semitic subfamily itself is mainly African, 12 of its 19 surviving languages being confined to Ethiopia. This suggests that Afroasiatic languages arose in Africa, and that only one branch of them spread to the Near East. Hence it may have been Africa that gave birth to the languages spoken by the authors of the Old and New Testaments and the Koran, the moral pillars of Western civilization.”

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. (New York/London: W.W. Norton & company, 1999), p.383.

2.6. Egypt and Israel A Hebrew doctrine which may owe something to Egyptian sources is that of the creation of man in the image of God. Attempts to show a dependence on Babylonian mythology are most unconvincing. However, in a work of the Tenth Dynasty in which the sun-God Re is described as a beneficent creator, we read: ‘ They (i.e. mankind) are his likenesses (snnw) who have come forth from his body’ (Merikare, 132). The concept appears again in the New Kingdom. At the end of the ‘Instruction of Any’, in a lively exchange of letters between Any and his son, the latter writes: ‘Men are in the image of the god because of their custom of hearing a man in regard to his reply….The Hebrews’ gradual assimilation to Egyptian ways is shown by the fact that they gave their children Egyptian names… Semites living in Egypt tended to give their children Egyptian names, and sometimes even to adopt them for themselves. Some of these names went with them to Palestine, and a few have survived even to the present day, such as Moses, derived from msw, ‘child’ (as in Ramses), Susanna, from ssn (earlier sssn) meaning ‘lotus’… The Egyptian language, as might well be expected, also left an indelible mark on Hebrew vocabulary, and a number of loan-words are preserved in the Old Testament… Because of the unique position of Syria-Palestine as a bridge between Egypt and Western Asia, across which the military roads and trade routes passed, it was continually subject to the

72 cross-currents which flowed from these centers of culture. As early as about 3000 B.C., for instance, there are evidences of Egyptian influence in Byblos. Indeed, from the time of the Old Kingdom right down to the Empire period, an Egyptian temple was to be found in this Phoenician city…During the Middle Kingdom (ca.2052-1786 B.C.) Egypt exercised an economic if not political dominion over Syria-Palestine. To this period belong the movements of the Hebrew patriarchs to and from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament (Gen. 12:10 ff.)… later Egypt was to be invaded and occupied by the Asiatic hordes known as the Hyksos. The period of their domination witnessed the movement of Semitic tribes into Egypt, and the Biblical account of Joseph is probably to be placed at the end of the Hyksos era. (Eventually Egyptians supported by Nubians expelled the Hyksos and regained the control of their country). The contacts between Egypt and Syria-Palestine became still closer when, during the New Kingdom, the latter territory became part of the newly created Egyptian Empire. The topographical lists of Thutmose III carved on the temple at Karnak and later copied by Ramses II and III, bear witness to his conquest… The soil of Palestine has also yielded evidence of Egyptian domination in the form of hieroglyphic inscriptions found at various sites…To consider the important developments in the administration of the nascent Hebrew State under David and Solomon, during the reign of the former, Israel became the leading power in Syria-Palestine, and consequently required the creation of a military, economic, and governmental organization. It was only natural that David should look to Egypt for his models, either directly or through Phoenician intermediairies… Contacts between Egypt and the Hebrew people become increasingly important during the period of decline which followed the New Kingdom. In the time of David, a member of the Edomite royal house named Hadad fled to Egypt and was given political asylum by an unnamed Pharaoh (1kgs.11:14-22), who may have been Siamun (c. 990-974 B.C.) or Psusennes (Psibkhenne; c. 974-940 B.C.) of the Twenty-first Dynasty. When Solomon succeeded to the throne, Hadad returned to Palestine to plague him. In similar fashion Solomon’s enemy Jeroboam later took refuge under Sheshonq I (O.T. Shishak; c. 940-919 B.C.) of the Twenty-second Dynasty (1 Kgs. 11:40). The Bible also gives us the account of Solomon’s own marriage to an Egyptian prince (1Kgs. 3:1)…In 301 B.C. Palestine came under the control of Ptolemy I, and was to remain so for a century. Many prisoners were brought back from his Palestinian campaigns, and during the third century he also imported Jewish soldiers to Egypt as mercenaries, granting them lands to be held under military tenure. Jewish settlers tended more and more to drift into Alexandria until, by the first century B.C., they formed the largest body of Jews outside Judaea… In view of these numerous contacts between the two cultures occurring in both Egypt and Palestine, it was inevitable that Israel should fall heir to many features of Egyptian civilization.

Ronald J. Williams, “Egypt and Israel,” 10th chapter in J.R. Harris, ed., The Legacy of Egypt. (Oxford: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Second edition, 1971); pp.257-290.

73 2.7. The testimony of Pope John-Paul II (and Pope Paul VI) On African contribution to early Christianity: “In a message to the Bishops and to all the peoples of Africa concerning the promotion of the religious, civil and social well-being of the Continent, my venerable Predecessor Paul VI recalled in memorable words the glorious splendor of Africa’s Christian past:

“We think of the Christian Churches of Africa whose origins go back to the times of the Apostles and are traditionally associated with the name and teaching of Mark the Evangelist. We think of their countless Saints, Martyrs, Confessors, and Virgins, and recall the fact that from the second to the fourth centuries Christian life in the North of Africa was most vigorous and had a leading place in theological study and literary production. The names of the great doctors and writers come to mind, men like Origen, Saint Athanasius, and Saint Cyril, leaders of the Alexandrian school, and at the other end of the North African coastline, Tertullian, Saint Cyprian and above all Saint Augustine, one of the most brilliant lights of the Christian world. We shall mention the great Saints of the desert, Paul, Anthony, and Pachomius, the first founders of the monastic life, which later spread through their example in both the East and the West. And among many others we want also to mention Saint Frumentius, known by the name of Abba Salama, who was consecrated Bishop by Saint Athanasius and became the first Apostle of Ethiopia. During these first centuries of the Church in Africa,certain women also bore their own witness to Christ. Among them saints Perpetua and Felicitas, Saint Monica and Saint Thecla are particularly deserving of mention. These noble examples, as also the saintly African Popes, Victor 1st , Melchiades and Gelasius1st, belong to the common heritage of the Church, and the Christian writers of Africa remain today a basic source for deepening our knowledge of the history of salvation in the light of the word of God. In recalling the ancient glories of Christian Africa, we wish to express our profound respect for the Churches with which we are not in full communion: the Greek church of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Coptic Church of Egypt and the Church of Ethiopia, which share with the Catholic Church a common origin and the doctrinal and spiritual heritage of the great Fathers and Saints, not only of their own land, but of all the early Church. They have labored much and suffered much to keep the Christian name alive in Africa through all the vicissitudes of history.” These churches continue to give evidence down to our own times of the Christian vitality which flows from their Apostolic origins. This is true in Egypt, in Ethiopia and, until the seventeenth century, in Nubia. At that time a new phase of the evangelization was beginning on the rest of the Continent.” (African Synod, Documents, Reflections, Perspectives, New York, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996; p.242-243)

74

II. Contribution to Western civilization in general

Ancient Greece is widely regarded by Western historians as the origin of Western civilization, as “Mater et Magistra” (mother and teach of the West in the ways of civilization). It is even understood that ancient Greece “civilized Rome” and the Roman empire “civilized” the “barbarians” (a word used to refer to Germans, French, British, the ancient population of Western Europe in general). It is remarkable that despite the overwhelming influence of racist thinking in European scholarship, Western scholars have been forced by the scientific evidence in front of their eyes, to admit that the cradle of humanity was Africa and not Europe (as one British scientist claimed and when to great length to create a false skull known as Piltdown man). Most important still is their admission of the influence of Africa in the birth of Western civilization (despite the continuing existence of some dissenting voices), especially the overwhelming influence of Africa on the religion, science, philosophy, and democracy of ancient Greece, and on the legal system of Roman empire. Moreover the majority of Biblical scholars, Church historians, and even Popes Paul VI and John Paul II now admit the crucial inflence of African Egypt on the development of the Bible, ten commandments, Christian theology and Christian spirituality. Egyptologists have proven that some important founding fathers of Greek philosophy and science (including Plato and Pythagoras) studied in Egypt, and the Bible itself tells us that “Moses was educated in the wisdom of Egyptians.” The implication of this for the relationship between African civilization and Western civilization is self- evident. And yet, with the exception of a very few dissenting voices, our schools and universities, and our textbook have often chosen not to make the connection. Why? (see the answer in the text on feel good education)

Western civilization is based on two pillars 1. The Bible and Judaism provided the creation story, ten commandments, monotheism, some popular names of people, and the critical notion of human dignity or the “imago dei” doctrine (Genesis 1) 2. The Greco-Roman civilization provided Philosophy, Science, ideas of Democracy and Human Rights, the idea of a Constitution and the Legal system. Because Egypt heavily influenced the Bible, Judaism, Christianity and the Roman empire, and because some of the most prominent founding fathers of Greek philosophy and science studied in Egypt, it logically follows that some of the fundamental markers of Western civilization have their origin in Africa, which is also the birth place of humanity itself, human languages, and the first religious expressions of humankind.

Contribution to Western civilization in general according to

75 - 1. Jackson J. Spielvogel, - 2. Guy MacLean Rogers, - 3. M.C.F. Volney, - 4. Egyptian origin of our Calendar

1. AFRICA THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND AND CIVILIZATION Jackson J. Spielvogel (Professor at the Pennsylvania State University) opens his textbook on “Western Civilization” with chapter one on “The Ancient Near East: the First civilizations” in which he boldly states the following: “All humans today, whether they are Europeans, Australian Aborigenes, or Africans, belong to the same subspecies of human being. The first anatomically modern humans, known as Homo Sapiens Sapiens appeared in Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago. They began to spread outside Africa around 100,000 years ago… By 10,000 B.C., members of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species could be found throughout the world… Western civilization can be traced back to the ancient Near East, where people in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed organized societies and created the ideas and institutions that we associate with civilization. The later Greeks and Romans, who played such a crucial role in the development of Western Civilization, where themselves nourished and influenced by these older societies in the Near East. It is appropriate, therefore, to begin our story of Western civilization in the ancient Near East with the early civilization of Mesopotamia and Egypt.” Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization. Volume 1: to 1715. (Thomson Wadsworth, 2003), pp.2-3. 2. “Now if the foundations of Western civilization were multicultural (in the quite specific sense of deriving from many cultures), it would be important NOT ONLY TO SCHOLARS concerned with the question of what we should teach students about what happened in the ancient world. It would also be important to ALL OF US who (living in the West) consider ourselves to be HEIRS of Western civilization. For we all understand that the FOUNDATION MYTH of Western civilization HELPS TO DEFINE WHO WE THINK WE ARE, or would like to think we are. Thus, if the TREE OF OUR CIVILIZATION were shown to have roots in the soils of many DIFFERENT LANDS, a VISION OF OURSELVES as a pluralistic, diverse, multiethnic, and multiracial society might be legitimated.” Guy MacLean Rogers, Multiculturalism and the Foundations of Western civilization, in Black Athena Revisited,p.429) 3. VOLNEY: At the peak period of European hegemony and Slave trade, Volney, an honest French savant, and member of the notorious Académie Française, reminded the international community that the situation of black slaves was a result of social crisis and should not be used to forget the

76 glorious past of the black race. Volney who travelled in Egypt between 1783 and 1785 took the case of Copts as evidence for his optimistic views: But reverting to Egypt, its contributions to history afford many subjects for philosophic reflection. What a subject for meditation is the present-day barbarity and ignorance of the Copts who were considered, born of the alliance of the deep genius of the Egyptians and the brilliance of the Greeks, that this race of blacks who nowadays are slaves and the objects of our scorn is the very one to which we owe our arts, our sciences and even the use of spoken word; and finally recollect that it is in the midst of the peoples claiming to be the greatest friends of liberty and humanity that the most barbarous of enslavements has been sanctioned and the question raised whether black men have brains of the same quality as those of white men! M.C.F. Volney, Voyages en Syrie et en Egypte, Paris, 1787, vol.I, pp.74-77. 4. The Calendar and Modern Chronology According to ancient tradition, when in 45 B.C. Julius Caesar decided to reform the unwieldly lunar-based calendar of Rome, he took advice from an Alexandrian astronomer, Sosigenes, who applied his calendarial experience to the problem. The result, with Augustus’ correction a few years later, became the Julian calendar, used by all Christendom until the time of Pope Gregory, when it was further reformed into our present calendar. Though the length of the year as 365 1/4 days had been common knowledge for some centuries before Sosigenes, the Egyptians were surely the earliest people to have arrived at that figure and, as well, to have devised a calendar divorced from the awkward lunar month. These remain two of the most significant of all their legacies to us, and how they arrived at them may well serve as an introduction to the catalogue of their accomplishments. Richard A. Parker, “The Calendars and Chronology” in J.R. Harris, ed., The Legacy of Egypt. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971, 2nd edition); p.13. The Gregorian calendar was introduced in Rome in October 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. France adopted it in december 1582; Great Britain adopted it in 1752 Russia in 1918; Greece in 1923. Cheikh Anta Diop, Civilisation ou Barbarie. (Paris: Présence Africaine, 1981); p.354.

II. 1. African contribution to the Roman Empire (African Popes and African Roman Emperors, African intellectuals Rome colonized North Africa and made it part of the Roman empire. But it is crucial to note that not all Africans in Rome were slaves, or servants. On the contrary, some were writers,

77 generals, philosophers, and emperors, and yes, indeed, Popes (3 African popes in Rome, and they were all canonized saints in a Church where many Western popes are not canonized saints by the Vatican itself). Even among slaves, a number of African slaves in Rome became prominent citizens and contributed to Roman culture. As for Roman emperors, we are told by scholars that Septimius Severus was an African general who reigned in Rome for almost 9 years and founded a dynasty that governed for some time. This means that he was not the only African Roman emperor. In fact historical records reveal at least ten African emperors in Rome: Macrinu, Firmus, Emilianus, Pescennius Niger, Aquilus Niger, Brutidius Niger, Q. Caecilus Niger, Novius Niger, and Trebius Niger who was a proconsul in Spain. The most prominent African Roman emperor is of course the General Septimius Serverus, whom the Antiochene chronicler, John Malalas, said was dark-skinned. Africans were also authorities on medicine and they were often quoted by Caelius Aurelianus and Galen. Moreover Romans turned to the worship of Isis and when Rome became Christian, Christian thinkers contributed enormously to Christian theology and Christian Spirituality, indeed even to the government of the Church as popes and bishops. The 3 African popes are Saint Victor (189-199) who governed the church as Pope for 10 years, Saint Miltiades or Melchiades (311-314), and Saint Gelasius I (492-496). African writers are the most important contributors to the constitution of Christian thought. Among theologians and Christian philosophers we find the following eminent African figures :Augustine of Hippo, Tertullianus, Cyprianus, Minucius, Felix, Commodianus, Arnobius Afer, Lactantius. Christian spirituality and holy life also was marked by the great Saints of the desert, Paul, Anthony, and Pachomius, the first founders of the monastic life, which later spread through their example in both the East and the West. And among many others we also find Saint Frumentius, known by the name of Abba Salama, who became the first Apostle of Ethiopia. Other prominent African intellectuals in the Roman empire include Domitius Afer (orator), Terence (the great playwright), and Victorianus Afer, a scholar of rhetoric whose statue was erected in the forum of Emperor Trajan. II.2. Contribution to ancient Greece Greek Miracle Mythology and the Egyptian Problem

( African origin of science, philosophy and democracy) 1. Greek religion (see previous sections) 2. Greek Philosophy and Science and Greek miracle debate 3. Democracy and Human Rights, and the “Rule of Law”

78 4. Women’s Rights in ancient Egypt and the rest of black Africa

1. Greek religion (see the testimony of Herodotus on the previous sections) 2. Greek Miracle and the origin of science, philosophy and democracy 2.1. Bertrand Russell and Greek miracle mythology Eurocentric view dominant when Europe dominated the world during colonial era This old colonialist view is well summarized by the British philosopher Bertrand Russell (who still promotes the soft version of the Greek miracle) In chap.1 on “The Rise of Greek civilization” and chap.4 on “Heraclitus” Bertrand Russell revived the old Eurocentric theory of “Greek miracle”: Two opposite attitudes toward the Greeks are common at the present day. One, which was practically universal from the Renaissance until very recent times, views the Greeks with almost superstitious reverence, as the inventors of all that is best, and as men of superhuman genius whom the moderns cannot hope to equal. The other attitude, inspired by the triumphs of science and by an optimistic belief in progress, considers the authority of the ancients an incubus, and maintains that most of their contributions to thought are now best forgotten. I cannot myself take either of these extreme views; each I should say, is partly right and partly wrong (p.38)... In all history, nothing is so surprising or so difficult to account for as the sudden rise of civilization in Greece. Much of what makes civilization had already existed for thousands of years in Egypt and in Mesopotamia, and had spread thence to neighbouring countries. But certain elements had been lacking until the Greeks supplied them. What they achieved in art and literature is familiar to everybody, but what they did in the purely intellectual realm is even more exceptional. They invented mathematics and science and philosophy; they first wrote history as opposed to mere annals; they speculated freely about the nature of the world and the ends of life, without being bound in the fetters of any inherited orthodoxy (p.3)... Almost all the hypotheses that have dominated modern philosophy were first thought of by the Greeks; their imaginative inventiveness in abstract matters can hardly be too highly praised. They gave birth to theories which have had an independent life and growth, and which, though at first somewhat infantile, have proved capable of surviving and developing throughout more than two thousand years. The Greeks contributed, it is true, something else which proved of more permanent value to abstract thought: they discovered mathematics and the art of deductive reasoning. Geometry, in particular, is a Greek invention, without which modern science would have been impossible (p.38-39). Arithmetic and some geometry existed among the Egyptians and Babylonians, but mainly in the form of rules of thumb. Deductive reasoning from general premisses was a Greek innovation (p.3, footnote). What occurred was so astonishing that, until very recent times, men were content to gape and talk mystically about the Greek genius (p.3). Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972; pp.3 and 38-39.

79 WHAT WE NOW KNOW TODAY: THERE WAS NO GREEK MIRACLE .2.2. Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins: The origins of Philosophy: A Greek Miracle?

“Long before the sixth century B.C.E., there were already flourishing civilizations in the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa... Greece was mostly destroyed about 1200 B.C.E. (soon after the siege of Troy) and it remained largely “uncivilized” until the sixth century B.C.E....The Greeks traded throughout the Mediterranean, borrowing freely from other cultures. From the Phoenicians they acquired an alphabet, some technology, and bold new religious ideas. From Egypt they obtained the ideas that defined what we call Greek architecture, the basics of geometry, and much else besides. From Babylon (now Iraq) they partook of astronomy, mathematics, geometry, and still more religious ideas. Greece was not a miracle (nor was ancient India): it was a lucky accident of history and the product of many unattributed lessons from neighbors and predecessors…Many of the leading ideas of Greek philosophy, including the all-important interest in geometry and the concept of the soul, were imported from Egypt. Indeed, it might be more enlightening to view the ‘miracle’ in Greece not as a remarkable beginning but as a culmination, the climax of a long story the beginnings and middle of which we no longer recognize.”

Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins, A Short History of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996; pp.7-9. 2.3. Diané Collinson on the origins of Western Philosophy In a study on Thales of Miletus (ca 624-545BC), the first European philosopher, Diané

80 Collinson (formerly Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor in Philosophy at the Open University) reminds us that Western philosophy found its origin in in Athens or any main land Greece, but at the periphery, in a region which was a meeting place of various non- European cultures, and was among others influenced by Egyptian thought. She (He?) emphasizes that this first Western philosopher Thales studied in Egypt: Western philosophy is said to have begun in the sixth century BC at Miletus on the Ionian seaboard of Asia Minor. Ionia was the meeting place of East and West; it was also the land of Homer. The first Milesian philosophers, Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, were open not only to oriental influences and the Homeric tradition but to the mathematics of Egypt and Babylon and to the ideas and information that flowed along the trade routes passing through Ionia... Thales probably travelled to Egypt to learn astronomy, geometry and practical skills to do with the measuring and management of land and water.... He features in the history of mathematics as the originator of geometrical proof... But it was not these wide- ranging achievements that earned Thales the title of philosopher; rather, it was his attempt to provide a rational description and explanation of the world. This rational project significantly distinguishes his thought from earlier, mythologically based accounts of the world. Thales asked the question: What is the source of all things? The answer he gave was: water. He maintained, according to those who wrote about him, that everything comes into being from water and that the earth floats on water like a log. Aristotle discusses this view in his metaphysics. ... (But) that the earth rested on water was an Egyptian belief as well as part of the Homeric tradition. Thales’s second major claim about the nature of the universe was that ‘all things are full of gods.’ Diané Collinson, Fifty Major Philosophers: A Reference Guide. London and New York: Routledge, 1998 (first published in 1987); pp.3-4. 2.4. SERGE SAUNERON (FRENCH EGYPTOLOGIST): In the chapter on “Sacred knowledge (of Ancient Egypt) of his book The Priests of Ancient Egypt, Serge Sauneron (a famous French Egyptologist) wrote the following:

Reading ancient Greek texts, one cannot avoid the impression that in the eyes of their authors, Egypt was the cradle of all knowledge and wisdom. The most famous Greek sages and philosophers crossed the sea in search of initiation into new knowledge by the priests of Egypt. And if they did not go there, their biographers hastened to add this traditional and obligatory voyage to the episodes of their lives.

81 Who were these celebrated travelers? First of all great ancestors: Orpheus, who,

“having gone into Egypt, … adopted the Dionysiac mysteries,” and Homer himself, who visited that land. In less mythic times, Solon also crossed the sea, and his travels were described by Plato:

Solon said that, when he traveled thither (i.e., to Sais), he was received with much honour, and further that, when he inquired about ancient times from the priests who knew most of such matters, he discovered that neither he nor any other Greek had any knowledge of antiquity worth speaking of. Once, wishing to lead them on to talk about ancient times, he set about telling them the most venerable of our legends, about Phoroneus the reputed first man and Niobe, and the story how Deucalion and Pyrrha survived the deluge. He traced the pedigree of their descendants, and tried, by reckoning the generations, to compute how many years had passed since those events. “Ah, Solon, Solon,” said one of the priests, a very old man, “you Greeks are always children; in Greece there is no such thing as an old man.”

“What do you mean?” Solon asked.

“You are all young in your minds,” said the priest, “which hold no store of old belief based on long tradition, no knowledge hoary with age.”

The priest went on to explain that recurrent catastrophes had changed the face of the planet, mixing or altering peoples, destroying one civilization and replacing it with another. Having no record of the intellectual and scientific heritage of the culture that preceded it, the new civilization was obliged to begin again and retrace the entire route that had been lost. But because of its geographical and climatic peculiarities, Egypt had escaped this otherwise general rule:

But in this country the water does not fall from above on the fields either then or at other times; its way is always to rise up over them from below. It is for these reasons that the traditions preserved here are the oldest on record… Any great or noble achievement or otherwise exceptional event that has come to pass, either in your parts or here or in any place of which we have tidings, has been written down for ages past in records that are preserved in our temples.

It was thus in Egypt that the Greek historians could find the best sources of information. But this was not the only branch of knowledge that the priests of Egypt could teach to their foreign guests. Thus Thales of Miletus visited “Egypt to confer with the priests and astronomers,” according to one of his biographers, and he seems to have “learnt geometry from the Egyptian.” Geometry and astronomy are the two disciplines most often mentioned by Greek writers in connection with the priests of Egypt. To these, they sometimes added theology, when the priests consented to reveal its mysteries to their guests, which was not often. The priests did not always receive these inquisitive tourists with enthusiasm; they

82 found them often annoying and always indiscreet, too rigorously logical in their thinking and sometimes not easily convinced, and more inclined to lend credence to the deductions of reason than to the fantastic tales of a millennia-old tradition. Having learned from previous experiences with the intellectual tendencies of these curious Hellenes, the priests attempted to rid themselves of Pythagoras when, following the advice of Thales, he came to them in search of scientific and religious revelations.

Porphyry (233-304 C.E.) records Pythagoras’ journey in these terms: Having been received by Amasis (king of Egypt, 568-526 B.C.E.), he obtained from him letters (of recommendation) to the priests of Heliopolis, who sent him to those of Memphis, since they were older – which was, at heart, only a pretext. Then, for the same reason, he was again sent from Memphis to the priests of Diospolis (i.e. Thebes). The latter, fearing the king and not daring to find false excuses (to exclude the newcomer from their sanctuary), thought they would rid themselves of him by forcing him to undergo very bad treatment and to carry out very difficult orders quite foreign to a Hellenic education. All that was calculated to drive him to despair so that he would give up his mission. But since he zealously executed all that was demanded of him, the priests ended by conceiving a great admiration for him, treating him respectfully and even allowing him to sacrifice to their deities, which until then had never been permitted to a foreigner. This zeal, this obstinacy, this thirst for knowledge thus ended by opening doors that had at first been totally closed to him and winning the favor of the priests. Another biographer, Iamblichus, tells us that Pythagoras visited every holy place, full of great zeal,… admired and cherished by the priests and prophets with whom he associated . He learned everything most attentively, and neglected neither any oral instruction commended in his own time, nor anyone known for sagacity, nor any rite anywhere and a anytime honored. He also left no place unvisited where he thought he would find something exceptional. Hence, he visited all the priests, and benefited from the special wisdom of each. So he spent twenty-two years in the sanctuaries of Egypt.

What exactly were the branches of knowledge whose elements he especially sought? Above all, geometry, “for among the Egyptians there is much geometrical theorizing… all theorems about lines seem to be derived from there” and astronomy, which he studied in the sanctuaries throughout his stay in Egypt. In short, what he acquired from the priests of Thebes and Memphis was “the very things in virtue of which the multitude believed he was wise” and in his own teaching, he went so far as to perpetuate that “symbolic and mysterious” methods to which the priests seem to have been accustomed. Other Greek sages and philosophers also came to the temples in search of instruction, and we sometimes have details regarding what they derived from this training. Oenopides, for example, learned many secrets from the “priests and astrologers” (i.e. astronomers,” in particular that “the sun’s orbit is an oblique course” (= the ecliptic, oblique on the celestial equator), “and traces a retrograde path opposite to that of the other stars.” Democritus, for his part, spent five years with the priests and “learned many of the secrets of astrology” and geometry.

83 As for Plato, he seems to have visited Egypt in search of information regarding “geometry and theology” and “priestly knowledge in general.” He must have met with the same resistence that Pythagoras had already encountered; in his description of Egypt, the geographer Strabo describes Plato’s journey to Heliopolis in the following terms: at Heliopolis (sic) the houses of the priests and the schools of Plato and Eudoxes were pointed out to us; for Eudoxus went up to that place with Plato, and they both passed thirteen years with the priests, as is stated by some writers; for since these priests excelled in their knowledge of the heavenly bodies, albeit secretive and slow to impart it. Plato and Eudoxus prevailed upon them in time and by courting their favour to let them learn some of the principles of their doctrines; but the barbarians concealed most things. However, these men did teach them the fractions of the day and the night which, running over and above the three hundred and sixty-five days, fill out the time of the true year. But at that time the true year was unknown among the Greeks, as also many other things, until the later astroloers (i.e. astronomers) learned them from the men who had translated into Greek the records of the priests, and even to this day they learn their teachings, and likewise those of the Chaldaeans. Eudoxus had been recommended by Agesilaus to Nectanebo, king of Egypt, who introduced him to the priests; during his stay, he was not obliged to content himself with begging the priests of Heliopolis for instruction, for as Plutarch informs us, Eudoxus took lessons from Chonauphis of Memphis. Perhaps, as had been the case earlier, in the reign of king Amasis, the priests of Heliopolis had treacherously remanded him into the care of the Memphite clergy, which was “older and consequently more learned than they,”? In any case, Eudoxus turned his stay there to good account, for according to tradition, he made greek translations of works written in Egyptian and introduced into his own land exact ideas regarding “the course of the five planets,” which had been ill defined until then and whose actual nature had been taught to him in Egypt: no doubt the “theory of the epicycles.”

Serge Sauneron, The Priests of Ancient Egypt (Cornell University Press, 2000) 2.5. Martin Bernal on the Myth of ‘Greek Rationality’

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Despite some disclaimers from Greeks who disliked the idea for chauvinist reasons, it was conventional wisdom among Greeks and Romans that philosophy had derived from ‘barbarians’ in general and Egyptians in particular... Lefkowitz’s conviction that there is a categorical distinction between a rational Greece and an irrational Egypt holds only if one believes that reason began only with Aristotle’s formal syllogistic logic and Euclid’s axiomatic geometry... However, this claim should be tempered by the works of some scholars who have thought profoundly about the issue. The first of these is the classicist E.R. Dodds, whose Greeks and the Irrational showed the centrality of madness and shamanism to Greek life and thought. The second is the classicist and historian of science Heinrich von Staden, who has written recently on the exaggeration and distortion brought about by modern scholars’ emphasis on the few ‘rational’ Greek texts and neglect of the many more ‘irrational’ ones. In Egypt too, there were areas of “rationality” - sophisticated and rigorous mathematics, superb geometry, wonderfully observed medical symptoms, precise surgery, and more - amidst what we now consider to be magic and superstition. Thus Lefkowitz’s categorical distinction between these two cultures on this criterion is much less hard and fast than she supposes.... Martin Bernal, Black Athena Writes Back. (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2001; pp.390-92.

1. Democracy and Human Rights, and the “Rule of Law” 3.1. THE HUMAN RIGHTS CONTROVERSY

In a study on human rights as a “Chinese concept,” Julia Ching summarized the history of the origin of human rights as follows: “Its mother is liberal, moral and political philosophy - the French enlightenment and liberal English thinking, among other things. Its father is international law, while its midwife is revolution: first the Revolution of American Independence and then the French Republican Revolution of the late eighteenth century. Such papers as the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen may be considered its birth certificate. The ensuing Bills of Rights that became incorporated in many national constitutions worldwide, and especially the United Nationals Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), might be described as its introduction to high society. But its ancestry includes further back, Stoic concepts of natural law and the traditions of Roman civil law on the continent and of the Anglo-Saxon common law to the extent that these lent protection to the rights of citizens and of individuals. (Ching, Julia, “Human Rights: A valid Chinese Concept?” in Maguire, Daniel, ed., Human Rights in China and Islam. Washington, D.C.: The Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics, 1995); pp.3-4.

85 This history of human rights explains the development of the doctrine in Western societies. Unfortunately Eurocentric ways of thinking concluded that human rights are exclusively a Western invention, thus implying that other societies have always remained barbaric and hostile to human dignity. This view is well reflected in the writings of Thomas Pakenham, Arthur Schlesinger, and Steven J. Hood. It is the mainstream view shared by most scholars and politicians, as well as ordinary citizens who thus see themselves as “superior” to non- Europeans. Thus the doctrine of human rights has become the bedrock of Western self- image and the source of its contempt for the rest of Humankind. After having denounced colonialism with a vigor rare among Western scholars, Thomas Pakenham concluded his magnificent “The Scramble for Africa” with the following astonishing residue of Hegelian way of thinking: “By contrast with the uneven benefits that decolonization has brought to Africa, it has well suited the interests of Europe. Missionaries have continued to offer Christianity and civilization to the needy. White businessmen have continued to make their fortunes in Africa. In the last thirty years, Africa’s imports from the rest of the world have risen ten times. Lugard was right. In the post-colonial era, he predicted, Britain would still be Nigeria’s best customer. Indeed, his forecast could have been applied to all the ex-imperial powers. Trade preceded the flag and has outlasted it. Giant European and North American companies continue to dominate the economies of fledgling African states. The new word for this is neo-colonialism. It is much the same as informal empire: the invisible empire of trade and influence that had preceded the Scramble. Yet how many Africans would wish to turn the clock back to the 1880s? The steamers and airlines of the world now bring material benefits to the forty-seven new states of the continent on a scale undreamt of a century ago. Best of all, Europe has given Africa the aspirations for freedom and human dignity, the humanitarian ideals of Livingstone, even if Europe itself was seldom able to live up to them.” Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912. (New York: Avon Books, 1991); p.680. In a recent study on human rights in the global context, Steven J. Hood (professor and chair of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Ursinus college, in Pennsylvania) denounces the process of what he sees as “Rights hunting in Non- Western Traditions” and explicitly declares: “In their effort to secure human rights while still preserving cultural identities, scholars have engaged in a hunt for notions of rights in non-Western traditions. I argue that such a quest is misdirected. Human rights... are ideas rooted in the Western philosophical tradition. Using the examples of Confucianism and Islam, I suggest that they lack the philosophical foundations for a full-fledged concept of rights... I conclude that non- Western thinkers must adopt rights theory from the Western liberal traditions.” Steven J. Hood, “Rights Hunting in Non-Western Traditions” in Bell, Lynda S., et al., eds., Negociating Culture and Human Rights. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001); p.96.

86

Writing in 1991 on the history of human rights, the American historian Arthur Schlesinger offered the following view of world history: There remains however a crucial difference between the Western tradition and the others. The crimes of the West have produced their own antidotes. They have provoked great movements to end slavery, to raise the status of women, to abolish torture, to combat racism, to defend freedom of inquiry and expression, to advance personal liberty and human rights. Whatever the particular crimes of Europe, that continent is also the source - the unique source - of those liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and cultural freedom that constitute our most precious legacy and to which most of the world today aspires. These are European ideas, not Asian, nor African, nor Middle Eastern ideas, except by adoption. Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (New York:Whittle Communications, 1991); p.76.

This Eurocentric ideology of human rights is contradicted by the concrete history of Western societies as well as the untold history of African and other non-European societies. As the German scholar Heiner Bielefeldt rightly pointed out,

“First, it seems crucial to admit that human rights do not simply derive from the entirety of Western culture. It is obvious that the guiding principle of human rights, roughly defined as the political claim to equal liberty for all human beings, does not occur in the basic sources of Occidental religion, philosophy, or culture; it can be found neither in the Jewish- Christian Bible, nor in Greek philosophy. Instead, human rights emerged quite late in Western history... The right to political resistance against tyranny, frequently viewed as a main source of human rights in general, was rooted in various cultures in Africa, Europe, and China. In any case, the search for affinities between modern human rights conceptions and premodern traditions cannot be an exclusively Occidental privilege.” Heiner Bielefeldt, “Secular Human Rights: challenge and opportunity to Christians and Muslims” in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol.7, N0.3, 1996; pp.284

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3.2. THE EGYPTIAN ORIGIN OF DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND THE RULE OF LAW

With regards to the origin of democracy and human rights, it is also important to recall that in this matter, Egypt served as a teacher of ancient Greeks and Romans as the famous Encyclopedia Britannica acknowledges clearly:

“The concept of Egyptian Law refers to that law that originated with the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under King Menes (c.2925B.C.) and grew and developed until the Roman occupation of Egypt (30 B.C The history of Egyptian law is longer than that of any other civilization. Even after the Roman occupation, elements of Egyptian law were retained outside the major urban areas. Although punishment for criminal offenders could be severe-and, in the modern viewpoint, barbaric-Egyptian law nevertheless was admirable in its support of basic human rights. The Pharaoh Bocchoris, for example, promoted individual rights, suppressed imprisonment for debt, and reformed laws relating to the transferal of property. His legal innovations are one example of the far-reaching implications of Egyptian law: the Greek lawgiver Solon (6th century BC.) visited Egypt and adapted aspects of the legal system to his own ideas for Athens. Egyptian law continued to influence Greek law during the Hellenistic period, and its effects on Roman imperial law may still be felt today.” ( “Egyptian law,” in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol.4, Micropaedia; 15th edition (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1994); p. 392. In one of his numerous studies of the notion of Law in ancient Egypt, Aristide Théodoridès makes two important statements suggesting that Egyptians had in a way or another certain notions of Human Rights. In one passage, he reminds us that Law was central to the Egyptian society: “The skillful government which the country enjoyed throughout the vicissitudes of its history guaranteed to individuals certain rights which together may legitimately be described as the Egyptian ‘law’ of the period, a law embodied in statutes and protected by courts (...). Indeed, the entire day-to-day business of existence in the Nile Valley is regulated by law.” In another passage, he points out the fact that the ancient Greeks considered as the founders of democracy and human rights learned for the first time these notions in Egypt according to a Western tradition that goes back to the ancient Greeks themselves: “After Psammetichus I had expelled the Assyrians and founded the Twenty-sixth Dynasty (664 B.C.) the Greeks came into contact with the culture of the Nile Valley, and according to tradition it was in Egypt, in the towns of the delta, that they acquired the ideas of liberty and democratic equality.”

88 According to Jean Yoyotte, not only ancient Greece benefited from the Egyptian conception of human rights, but also the Bible and Judaism. After stating that “the debt of biblical wisdom to Egyptian culture should not be underestimated,” Yoyotte points out that ancient Egyptian wisdom had a “great concern for others,” and was a requirement for political leaders: “Kings and scribes have left us good lessons in social ethics: wholeheartedly to attend to the interests of the king and his people, not to benefit the strong at the expense of the weak, not to let oneself become corrupt, not to cheat over weight or measure.”

The fact that kings had a great concern for ethic fostered their awareness of the notion of human dignity which, according to Yoyotte, is largely present in Egyptian texts: “Egypt also developed the concept of human dignity: ‘do not use violence to men... they were born from the eyes of Ra, they are his issue’; in one of the celebrated tales in the Westcar Papyrus, a magician refuses to carry out a dangerous experiment on a prisoner ‘for it is forbidden so to behave towards God’s flock.’” Théodoridès, Aristides, “The Concept of Law in Ancient Egypt” in Harris,J.R. ed.,The Legacy of Egypt, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp.319-320.

3.3. Women’s Rights in ancient Egypt and the rest of black Africa 3.3.1. EQUALITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN IN ANCIENT EGYPT

The Great Hymn to Isis, Goddess of Numerous games, pride of the female sex, thou reigneth in the sublime and infinite. Thou wanteth women to come and anchor with men It is thee the mistress of the earth Thou maketh the power of women equal to that of men. (Hymn preserved on a oxyrihinchos papyrus, number 1380; 2nd century B.C.; cited by Obenga, Théophile, Ancient Egypt and Black Africa. (London : Karnak House, 1992); p.168.

- “Legal judgments pertaining to the family and rights of succession clearly demonstrate

89 that women as well as men were granted full rights under the laws of ancient Egypt. Women owned and bequeathed property, filed lawsuits, and bore witness in court proceedings without the authority of their father or husband.” “Egyptian Law” in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol.4, Micropaedia; 15th edition; 1994; p.392.

“Women enjoyed equal rights of property ownership and judicial relief (...). In the domain of law, Pharaonic Egypt curiously anticipates the modern societies of Europe.” (Jean Yoyotte, French Egyptologist) iYoyotte, Jean, “Pharaonic Egypt: Society, Economy and Culture” in Mokhtar, G., ed., General History of Africa: Volume II, Ancient Civilizations of Africa. (Heinemann, California, Unesco, 1981); p.129.

The freedom of Egyptian women and their involvement in public sphere disgusted Greeks to such a degree that Ptolemy IV, the Greek who ruled Egypt between 221 and 203 B.C. promulgated his famous Prostagna in which he partly revoked traditional Egyptian law by questioning the notion of equality between genders. Obenga, Théophile, Ancient Egypt and Black Africa. (London : Karnak House, 1992); p.168. “WOMEN IN THE ANCIENT WORLD. The land of Palestine lies in the center of the fertile crescent of the ancient Near East. The fertile crescent extended from the lower end of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the east (Sumer, in present day Iraq), up through present-day Syria and Lebanon, and down through Palestine, with Egypt and the Nile valley at its western tip. Civilization developed about the same time at the two extremities, Sumer in the east and Egypt in the west, and the status of women in both civilizations was relatively high in their early periods. Before 2400 B.C.E. in Sumer, polyandry (more than one husband to a wife) was at times practiced; some women also owned and controlled vast amounts of property, enjoyed some laws that in effect prescribed something like equal pay for equal work, and were able to bold top rank among the literati of the land, and to be spiritual leaders of paramount importance. In Egypt, during the third and fourth, and into the fifth dynasties (2778-2423 B.C.E.), when the highest level of culture of the Old Kingdom was reached, daughters had the same inheritance rights as sons, marriages were strictly monogamous (with the exception of royalty) and tended to be love matches; in fact, it can be said that in the Old Kingdom the wife was the equal of the husband in rights, although her place in society was not identical with that of her husband… The status of women also declined at the western tip of the fertile crescent, in Egypt, with the disintegration of the Old Kingdom in 2270 B.C.E. Eventually, however, it rose again, so that in Egypt, over the almost three-thousand-year history before the coming of Alexander the Great in 330 B.C.E., the status of women was quite high for about fifteen hundred years, corresponding with strong central governments. The periods of high status were, broadly speaking, 3000-2270 B.C.E., 1580-1085 B.C.E., and from 663 B.C.E. into the Greco-Roman period until the dominance of Christianity around 375 C.E. Thus, Jacques Pirennes could write: “We have arrived at the epoch of total legal emancipation of the woman. That absolute legal equality between the woman and the man continued to the arrival of the Ptolemies [Hellenistic successors to Alexander the Great] in Egypt” (Jacques Pirenne, “Le Statut de la femme dans l’ancienne Egypte,” La Femme. Recueil de la Société Jean Bodin, XI, 1, p. 76; Brussels, 1959).

90 Though taking a somewhat more pessimistic view, Jean Vercoutter is in large agreement when after his extensive history of women in ancient Egypt he concludes:

If all the sources are in agreement that, everything considered, the woman in Egypt was subordinate to the man, that her duty was to please him, give him children and care for his house, it also appears that in turn custom allowed women a large freedom: they could go out freely and if perchance they owned some goods they would become the equal of the man in order to assure its management. In this sense the condition of the female Egyptian was superior to that of the Greek, for example, and when with the Macedonian conquest Hellenistic customs and then Roman penetrated the Nile valley the female Egyptian lost many of the privileges which she had acquired little by little. It would indeed take centuries for that relative liberty which Egyptian women enjoyed to again be their lot. (Jean Vercoutter “La Femme en Egypt ancienne,” in Pierre Grimal, ed., Histoire mondiale de la femme, Vol. 1, p. 152; Paris: Nouvelle Librairie de France, 1965) When we shift our focus to the world of Hellas, we also find women enjoying a relatively high status in the early period of Greek civilization, as in the Minoan culture of Crete (3 000-1100 B.C.E.) and the Greece of the time of the Homeric poems (before 900 B.C.E.). But there too women’s status declined, reaching a low point during the Golden Age of Greece, in the fourth and fifth centuries B.C.E.-though a distinction would have to be made between Athens, where women had a very inferior status, and Sparta, where they had great freedom.... In fifth-century Greece marriage was monogamous, but the husband was allowed sex with hetaerae (courtesans) and concubines… The Greek (Athenian) wives of the classical period, did not even eat with male guests when they were in their own homes, let alone go out in mixed gatherings,… In religion and cult, women in classical Greece, i.e., during the fifth century B.C.E., experienced restrictions that were broad, but by no means absolute. There were a number of religious activities or places that they could not enter upon, as, for example, the very important oracle of Delphi or the cult of Hercules; and usually only maidens, not married women, could watch the sacred games at Olympia. Women were also almost entirely absent from, or were kept in the background of, the activities of state religion… In the Hellenistic period, however, the extraordinary popularity of the eastern cults and mystery religions and the burgeoning women’s liberation movement dramatically changed the situation. Women not only took part in these religious cults, they often did so in great numbers and often in leading and even priestly roles, as, for example, in the Eleusinian, the Dionysian, and the Andanian mysteries. The cult of the goddess Isis, which came from Egypt but spread all over the Hellenistic and Roman world, was at the beginning of its popularity exclusively a women’s cult, and even after men were admitted it still provided women with leading religious roles and justly had the reputation of being a vigorous promoter of women’s equality and liberation. … In Roman empire “only the men exercised the political rights of citizens: military service, voting at the assemblies of the people, access to magistratures” (Jacques-Henri

91 Michel, “L‘Infériorité de la condition féminine en droit romain,” Ludus Magistralis, No. 46, 1974, p. 7).

In sum: The status of women in the ancient world of the fertile crescent after the early Sumerian period was almost uniformly low except in Egypt, where it was early and often quite high. In the classical Greco-Roman world (after the Minoan and pre-Homerian Greek periods) the condition of women was varied, but often quite restricted, with the clear exception of Etruscan culture. It nevertheless improved, particularly during the Hellenistic period, so vigorously and continually that one must speak of a women’s liberation movement which had a massive and manifold liberating impact on the lot of women-not everywhere and in every class and at every period equally effective, of course. This improving impulse was picked up and carried forward by Rome. In fact, the general rule in this matter is that the farther west one goes, the greater is the freedom of women-though in detail there are the greatest possible variations-and that also in general there is a progression in the freedom for women according to time. Thus, as the women of Rome tended to be freer than those of Greece, who were more liberated than women of the oriental world, so also the women of the time of the Roman empire had greater freedom than those of the time of the Roman republic, and their sisters in the Hellenistic world and period were less restricted than those of Greece at the time of the Athenian empire. Due account must be taken, of course, of the unsympathetic vagaries of all human history, and the fact that in so many ways the liberation of women was long since anticipated in ancient Sumer, Egypt, Minoan Crete, and later also in Etruria. It is in this context and under this surrounding and pervading influence that the biblical traditions, Jewish and Christian, developed. Leonard Swidler, Biblical Affirmations of Woman. (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1979).

92 3.3.2. WOMEN IN OTHER REGIONS OF BLACK AFRICA

Critical and careful investigation of History shows that Western construct of savage Africa and the afrocentric “invention” of lost paradise are two extreme overstatements of traditional politics toward women. It is well known today that African tradition has never been monolithic. The permanent dynamism of African traditional cultures suggests that the symphony of women’s voice in traditional institutions was a polyphonic polysemy which contradicts the cacophony of colonial and postcolonial theories. The status of Women in traditional Africa was indeed very complex, a mixture of enslavement for some and amazing rights for others as Takyiwaa Munah so well summarized:

When Western scholars interested in women’s rights depict African women as powerless and oppressed by various systems of customary law, they forget that in many cases these customs are constructions creating a situation which is neither customary nor legal. Precolonial African societies manifested a variety of attitudes and practices toward women, with women possessing political, religious, and social power in some systems and having little or no formal power in others.

Takyiwaa Manuh, “Law and Society in Contemporary Africa” in Martin, Phyllis and O’Meara, Patrick, eds. Africa (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1995 OSUN AND THE POWER OF WOMAN (A tale from Yoruba religion in the equality between men and women) Olodumare, the supreme creator, who is both female and male, wanted to prepare the earth for human habitation. To organize things, Olodumare sent the seventeen major deities. Osun was the only woman; all the rest were men. Each of the deities was given specific abilities and specific assignments. But when the male deities held their planning meetings, they did not invite Osun. “She is a woman,” they said. However, Olodumare had given great powers to Osun. Her womb is the matrix of all life in the universe. In her lie tremendous power, unlimited potential, infinities of existence. She wears a perfectly carved, beaded crown, and with her beaded comb she parts the pathway of both human and divine life. She is the leader of the aje, the powerful beings and forces in the world. When the male deities ignored Osun, she made their plans fail. The male deities returned to Olodumare for help. After listening, Olodumare asked, “What about Osun?” “She is only a woman,” they replied, “so we left her out.” Olodumare spoke in strong words, “You must go back to her, beg her for forgiveness, make a sacrifice to her, and give her whatever she asks.” The male deities did as they were told, and Osun forgave them. What did she ask for in return? The secret initiation that the men used to keep women in the background. She wanted it for herself and for all women who are as powerful as she is. The men agreed and initiated her into the secret knowledge. From that time onward, their plans were successful. Cited in Mary Pat Fisher, Living Religions. New York: Prentice Hall, 8th edition, 2011; p.43

93 II.3. The Egyptian Problem and Eurocentrism: Educational Propaganda and Miseducation.

1. THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM 1.1. Defining the Egyptian problem

The “Egyptian problem” is the debate among Western scholars regarding the identity of the authors of the civilization of Ancient Egypt: “How could Africans have produced such a high civilization? If it had been scientifically ‘proved’ that Blacks were biologically incapable of civilization, how could one explain Ancient Egypt - which was inconveniently placed on the African continent. There were two, or rather three solutions. The first was to deny that the Ancient Egyptians were black; the second was to deny that the Ancient Egyptians had created a ‘true civilization’; the third was to make doubly sure by denying both. The last has been preferred by most 19th-and 20th-century historians…After the rise of black slavery and racism, European thinkers were concerned to keep black Africans as far as possible from European Civilization. Where men and women in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were uncertain about the colour of the Egyptians, the Egyptophile Masons tended to see them as white. Next, the Hellenomaniacs of the early 19th century began to doubt their whiteness and to deny that the Egyptians had been civilized. It was only at the end of the 19th century, when Egypt had been entirely stripped of its philosophic reputation, that its African affinities could be reestablished.” Martin Bernal, Black Athena, vol.I; pp.30, 240-241 Ann Macy Roth, one of the few White American Egyptologists to reflect on questions raised by non-Caucasians on the race of ancient Egyptians published in 1995, in the American Research Center in Egypt Newsletter, an article entitled “Building Bridges to Afrocentrism: A letter to My Egyptological Colleagues” in which she made two important points: 1. It is no longer useful for Western Egyptologists to avoid or ignore the questions raised by Afrocentrism: “The number of African-Americans who are taught this material is growing, and we will increasingly have to deal with its inaccuracies and exaggerations simply in order to teach our students. This gap between our field and the Afrocentric version of it is not going to go away. And by setting ourselves against the whole phenomenon in an adversarial and often condescending way, we make it impossible for the responsible educators involved in the movement (and there are many) to tap our expertise and improve the accuracy of the materials they teach. 2. On why Western Egyptologists avoid the question of the blackness of ancient Egyptians she wrote: - “ ‘What color were the ancient Egyptians?’ This is a question that strikes FEAR into the hearts of most American Egyptologists... Few of us have devoted much thought or research to the contentions of the Afrocentric movement, so we NERVOUSLY try to say something reasonable, and hope that the questioner won’t persist and that we won’t end up looking silly or racist or both.” - “Egyptology tends not to be taken quite seriously by people who study other parts of the ancient world. Already many noted departments of Near Eastern Studies with extensive faculty in ancient Mesopotamia and the Levant do not feel it necessary to teach or support

94 research in Egyptology at a similar level. We fear, perhaps, that if we endorse the view that ancient Egypt was a “black civilization,” we will further cut ourselves off from our colleagues who study other civilizations contemporary with ancient Egypt. At the same time, there is no place for us in African studies departments, which generally tend to address questions related to modern history and current political and social problems.” Richard Poe, Black Spark White Fire: Did African Explorers Civilize Ancient Europe? (New York: Prima Publishing, 1997); pp.476-77. 1.2. THE RACE OF ANCIENT EGYPTIANS Views by the Greek historian Herodotus and the British historian Basil Davidson: Herodotus (484-425 B.C., Father of Western History):

“… There can be no doubt that the Colchians are an Egyptian race. Before I heard any mention of the fact from others, I had remarked it myself… The Egyptians said that they believed the Colchians to be descended from the army of Sesostris (Egyptian king). My own conjectures were founded, first, on the fact that they are black-skinned and have woolly hair, which certainly amounts to but little, since several other nations are so too; but further and more especially, on the circumstance that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians, are the only nations who have practised circumcision from the earliest times. ” (Herodotus, History, Book II). Basil Davidson (British Historian) on the Race of ancient Egyptians: What one needs to hold in mind is the enormous value and direct relevance of the Pharaonic records to Africa’s remote history… In this I follow an eminent Egyptologist, Professor Jean Leclant (from France), in holding that “African studies may draw to their great advantage on the immense documentation comprised in the abundant monuments, texts and graphic descriptions of five thousand years of history; and that perhaps the greatest service Egyptology can offer is to furnish, as no other branch of study can, precious chronological points of departure for the ancient history of Africa.” The records of ancient Africa begin with Egypt, yet the Egyptian contribution has been little studied on its African side. A familiar habit has considered old Egypt merely and strictly in her relationship to the civilizations of Asia and the Mediterranean. We have had, in consequence, a lopsided view of the true position. Egypt’s connections with the Middle East have been lit with brilliant clarity; those with the rest of Africa have remained in darkness, rather as though they had never been. In this aspect, too, a new approach to African history has lately begun to right the balance. The Pendulum swings the other way. Egypt’s influence on Old Africa, and Africa’s on old Egypt, are seen to have had a fertile past, even a crucial one: a past, moreover, in which continental Africa’s part was certainly the earlier, and Egypt, as part of Africa, the receiver as well as the giver. “Egyptian art,” in the words of a famous Egyptologist, “is the product of the soil of Africa, like the rest of Egyptian civilization.” If the history of early Africa is unthinkable without Egypt, so too is the history of early Egypt inexplicable without Africa. Ancient Egypt was essentially an African civilization. It follows that the Ancient Egyptians were Africans even if immigrants also trickled in from Asia and southern Europe. Whether the Ancient Egyptians were as black or as brown in skin color as other Africans may remain an issue of emotive dispute; probably they were both. Their own artistic convention painted them as pink, but pictures on their tombs show that they often married

95 queens shown as entirely black, being from the south (from what a later world knew as Nubia): while the Greek writers reported that they were much like all the other Africans whom the Greeks knew. None of this rather fruitless argument, as to the skin color of the Ancient Egyptians before the arrival of the Arabs in the seventh century A.D., would have arisen without the eruption of modern European racism during the 1830s. It became important to the racists, then and since, to deny Egypt’s African identity, Egypt’s black identity, so that they could deny to Africans any capacity to build a great civilization. We should dismiss all that. Basil Davidson, African Civilization Revisited: from Antiquity to Modern Times.(Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991); pp.49-50. 1.3. THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM NATIONAL AND INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY As Garrett’s statement shows what is at stake in the Egyptian problem controversy is people’s understanding of their own identity and their need to distance themselves from others. When people know that their ancestors were great, they gain a psychological boost of greatness and those who want to dominate others tell them that they are nothing because their ancestors have never created anything that contributed to world civilization “No matter how low (in a socioeconomic sense) an American white may be, his ancestors built the civilization of Europe; and no matter how high (again in a socioeconomic sense) a Negro may be, his ancestors were (and his kinsman still are) savages in an African jungle.” Professor Henry E. Garrett, 1962, Former chairman, Department of Psychology, Columbia University. Cited by Richard Poe, Black Spark White Fire: Did African Explorers Civilize Ancient Europe? (New York: Prima Publishing, 1997); p.493. “Classicists in the late modern world have more than enough grounds for paranoia. We are reminded daily that our subject is USELESS, IRRELEVANT, and BORING - all the things that, in our opinion, it is not. But now a new set of charges has been added. Not only students, but also the many academic acolytes of Martin Bernal’s influential theories about ‘the Afroasiatic roots of Western civilization,’ and Bernal himself, ASK US TO ACKNOWLEDGE that we have been RACISTS, and LIARS, the perpetrators of a vast intellectual and cultural cover-up, or at the very least the SUPPRESSORS of an AFRICAN PAST that, until our students and our colleagues began to mention it, we had ourselves known nothing about. HAD OUR TEACHERS DECEIVED US, and their teachers deceived them? Classicists should be perfectly willing to ask themselves these questions, because we know, at least as well as our critics, that much of our so-called knowledge of the past is based on educated GUESSWORK and sensible CONJECTURES. In my own lifetime I have seen many histories and many textbooks rewritten to take account of new finds... No responsible historian of antiquity would deny that it is possible to misinterpret the facts, either through ignorance or malice; but the open discussion of scholarly research has made it rather difficult to conceal or to manufacture facts without arousing the skepticism or the scorn of colleagues. The classicist frequently deals with sources that are partial and scattershot and essentially obscure. To speak with complete confidence, without any tincture of doubt, about some of the great controversies is to betray a misunderstanding of what classicists do… Afrocentrist writers have suggested many ways to revise the teaching of European history and

96 science…Any attempt to question the authenticity of ancient Greek civilization is of direct concern even to people who ordinarily have little interest in the remote past. Since the founding of this country, ancient Greece has been intimately connected with the ideals of American democracy. Rightly or wrongly, since much of the credit belongs to the Romans, we like to think that we have carried on some of the Greeks’ proudest traditions: democratic government, and freedom of speech, learning, and discussion. But it is from the Greeks, and not from any other ancient society, that we derive our interest in history and our belief that events in the past have relevance for the present. So, in spite of what my colleague said, it does matter to all of us whether or not Aristotle stole his philosophy from Egypt, even though that event (or rather, nonevent) supposedly took place as long ago as the late fourth century B.C. It matters, because if Aristotle had done such a thing, we should give the ancient Egyptians, rather than the ancient Greeks, credit for the development of conceptual vocabulary and formal arguments. It matters, because extreme Afrocentrists accuse historians of antiquity like MYSELF of being party to a major cover up in behalf of the ancient Greeks. Instead, I will try to show that no such cover-up operation has ever existed… Mary R. Lefkowitz, “Ancient History, Modern Myths” in Mary R. Lefkowitz and Guy MacLean Rogers, eds., Black Athena Revisited. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1996); pp.4-7

2. Foreign Stimulus Ideology and The Zimbabwe Gambling (Zimbabwe as a reflection of the Egyptian Problem).

“English South Africans had a specific need to explain away the massive stone ruins of Zimbabwe, after which the country is now named. Even before the carbon dating of these remains in the 1960s to the 15th and 16th centuries, it was pretty clear that they had been built by the Shona people, who still live in the region. Such a conclusion was impossible, however, because racial stereotypes forbade Africans to carry out such undertakings; so the buildings were attributed to the Phoenicians.” (Martin Bernal, Black Athena, vol.I; p.418) In 1994, recalling the way scholars and ordinary people in the West deal with African history, Basil Davidson shed an interesting light on the process of the invention of Africa: When I was young, the general orthodoxy of the “developed world”- whatever that term may really mean - was that Africa’s history could not be studied because, in truth, there was none to study. As our principal colonial historian, Sir Reginal Coupland, had carefully explained, “the heart of Africa was scarcely beating” before the arrival of the nineteenth-century Europeans. All that, today, is happily changed. The study of Africa’s history has become a respected discipline in a host of universities across the world,... Yet it is still sometimes forgotten just how deeply this European belief in Africa’s historical nonexistence had penetrated into minds and beliefs. Whenever any historical site or achievement in old Africa was found to be large and impressive, it was at once put down to the work or influence of peoples who had come from somewhere else. You will recall that it took modern archaeologists and historians more than seventy years to overcome the European belief

97 about the monumental stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe... These proud walls, it was said, could never have been built by Africans but must have been built by some altogether foreign and immigrant people who had come from across the seas: the Hittites, or the Phoenicians, or others yet more remote. It is in fact eighty-one years since the Scottish archaeologist, David Randall-MacIver, demonstrated that the walls of Zimbabwe were built by Africans, and their date was medieval. But only the other day, when I was revisiting those ruins, ...I was accosted by an elderly tourist from Europe - but I think, in truth, from South Africa- who said to me, “Young man, who built those walls out here in the bush?” And I replied, “Madam, Africans built them, Zimbabweans built them.” “Oh, no,” she said, “that can’t possibly be true.” All the same, the truths of Great Zimbabwe are well established and accepted. Davidson, Basil, The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics (New York: Random House, Times Books, 1994); p.264. Debunking the mythology of European “Foreign Stimulus” (See thesis 66 in section 3 on African traditional religions in 80 theses) 3. Miseducation and Eurocentric Educational propaganda

The Power of an Idea according to Miguel Ángel González Quiroga: “It is dangerous to underestimate the power of an idea. Especially one which captures the imagination of a people. Manifest Destiny was such an idea. To extend American democracy to the rest of the continent was to place a mantle of legitimacy on what was essentially an insatiable ambition for land.”

3.1. Prejudice Few things have done more harm than the belief on the part of individuals or groups (or tribes or states or nations or churches) that he or she or they are in the sole possession of the truth: especially about how to live, what to be and do - and that those who differ from them are not merely mistaken, but wicked or mad and need restraining or suppressing. It is a terrible and dangerous arrogance to believe that you alone are right, have a magical eye which sees the truth, and that others cannot be right if they disagree” “Unless we radically revise our theology of sacred scriptures in all three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam)…Our ancient religious metaphors create that kind of negative psychological archetypes at our centers. These inflame our prejudices and the psychodynamics behind them. At the center this is a spiritual problem, and there is no fixing it except with a spiritual renewal, which is framed and shaped and driven by a theology of grace, a religion of grace, a sociology of grace,

98 and a self-psychology of grace. Divine grace! Human grace! Grace is unconditional positive regard for the other” …Unless we radically revise our theology of sacred scriptures in all three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), we cannot escape the prison house of prejudice, we cannot transcend the built-in bigotry, we cannot become fully human, we cannot become fully spiritual or religious),” w e cannot achieve world peace. Negative views of other religions are a form of prejudice, and as such they are dangerous because they distort the truth and lead to violent consequences. As a way of thinking, prejudice is an idea, a thought, a conclusion, a theory, a way of knowing, understanding and explaining the world that has some specific characteristics. It is a partisan way of thinking. As such it breaks the rules of good judgment and the rules of decent and serious rational thinking. As such it falls into the category of opinions dictated by emotion. It is a partisan, dualistic, exclusivist, false, self-referential, narcissistic, infantile, immature violent, and dangerous way of thinking that is shaped by delusion, emotion, anxiety, insecurity, hatred, Ignorance, fear, and an inferiority complex masquerading as superiority complex. Prejudice always generates and is generated by an “us versus them” mindset. Prejudice produces scapegoats. But the scapegoat is merely the projection of the shadow side of the source or enactor of the prejudice. Prejudice is a need to exclude, devalue and eliminate the other. Prejudice is the irrational, unconscious or conscious, need to devalue or damage the other person or community because of the way they believe or worship the position they take, the attitudes they evince, or the behaviors they act out. But in reality for no other reason than that the other is different (from me, from my religion, my social group, my race or ethnicity, my political affiliation, etc). Prejudice is the rationalization of hatred of “the other.” Prejudice as an “us versus them” mindset It proceeds via the “invention of otherness” by using 3 mechanisms: 1) To Separate, differentiate (“he is not one of us”), 2) to Alienate, denigrate (the stranger is strange, evil and dangerous), 3) to Isolate and Exterminate (we have a divine duty to defend ourselves).

3.2. Religious prejudice and patriotic propaganda THESIS 7:

Africans have become aware of the irrelevancy of North Atlantic theology to the African situation; for example, they have read European theologians and know how some of them opposed the violence of the two world wars. But none of these theologians, not even Karl Barth, despite his stance against the naked aggression and violence of Nazi Germany, addressed the issue of colonial violence and military oppression against African people.

Emmanuel Martey, African Theology: Inculturation and Liberation. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1993; p.8.

THESIS 8. Colonial Christianity

“The churches of the West are a segment of the capitalist world. They suffer from the alienations and ills of the society of which they are integral parts, and to which they spontaneously conform. They exhibit the same will to power, the same spiritual self-satisfaction that springs from wealth, the same idolatry of victorious strength, material success, and ‘apostolic profit,’ the same rejection of other ways of being human, and all the rest. Only the irreducible existence of other ‘worlds’ can deliver these churches from these passions…

Applying to Africa the classical method of theological inquiry, as fides quaerens intellectum which encourages Christians to avoid "blind faith" and to use their reason to understand, justify, and explain their faith, we have tested the credibility of Christianity in Africa and found it wanting. As

99 “thinking Christians” we are called in the tradition of Hebrew prophets to denounce and criticize the alienating side of Christianity as practiced under colonial and neocolonial influence in Africa.

The first thing that strikes an observer of Christian missionaries is how they delight in moking African religion and way of life. To understand the nature of the Christianity brought by European missionaries from Western powerful nations we must understand concepts such as “Christianity of empire”, “Bourgeois Christianity,” “African resistance to middle-class Christianity,” “Revelation and domination,” “Alienation,” “Estrangement,” and “Power.” It is crucial to understand how the inner logic of Christian notion of Revelation and its concomitant theology of world history exclude African reality as totally evil and anhistorical. Indeed, in Africa Revelation functions as a tool of domination and exclusion. It imposes a total monologue. One has to understand the strategies used to dominate and exploit people in the name of Christianity and a God of Love. We must go to the roots of the Christian malaise; we must deconstructs the inner logic of Evangelization as practiced in Africa by challenging Rome and the European-American theological axis that still dominate theological discourse in the Christian world. The fundamental question of “power sharing” and the implication of Christianity in the neocolonial process must be properly addressed. Western missionaries are used to see Evangelization only as a civilizing enterprise, a charity that saves Africans from their alleged “immorality,” their “evil traditions” and their material misery. The only thing they expect from African people is an attitude of docility, total submission and gratitude that should extend even to the missionaries’ parents and to the mother countries of Europe. In order to control the revolutionary spirit of the African theology instilled by the Negritude Movement and the political ideology of PanAfricanism, Western missionaries found a way of controlling African theology by getting involved in the process and deviating the theological quest toward some superficial issues. Under the guidance of Western missionaries working in Africa, African theology is reduced to a folkloric inculturation that focuses the theological thinking on African songs and dances in the Church. This Inculturation theology of drums and masks is useless for the lives of African people. What should really be at stake in the Inculturation debate is not the “winning” or “losing” of African people for Christianity, nor the concern for “Church growth”, nor even the rediscovery of some supposed “essence of Christianity,” but the credibility of Christianity in the light of the life of African people as agents of their destiny. Thus, where missionaries see only “love,” and “the will of God,” we see “domination” and “violence.” Our point of departure is a situation of violence. By violence, we mean the violence of the Christian “theological language” which vilifies African culture, history and religious worldview as primitive or satanic. This translates the involvement of Christianity in the process of alienating African people. The scandal is that “the dominant religion creates poor in order to evangelize them, holding itself out as the means to human advancement. Christianity of empire imposes itself only by tearing up its converts by the roots, out of where-they-live, out of their being-in-the-world, presenting them with the Faith only at the price of depriving them of their capacity to generate the material and spiritual conditions of their existence. In the missionary logic, the dominated Africans have to find the truth only outside themselves, as the utterly-other-from-themselves-and-their-universe. Thus, in Africa, conversions have created not a people, but crowds of people alienated and oppressed. In order to grasp the argument here at stake, we should remember first that the Christianity mounting the African shore under the umbrella of Western nations is that of “bourgeois society; and secondly, that, in Africa, Evangelization operates by ways of institutionalizing a “dominator-dominated” relationship. Such a power relationship generates among African people, manners, modes, and mores that are heterogeneous. In Africa, the praxis of Evangelization is the suppression of one’s “sense of situation” and the evasion of the obligation to take oneself in one’s own charge, and in so doing, Christianity functions in Africa as the negation of the pagan’s living space and time. It is based on the method of extirpation which is a mode of disorientation by disjunction, disorientation via the suppression of one’s points of reference. The inner logic of Christianity perceiving itself as the only valid way of salvation, truth and rationality disqualifies African way of being as totally evil and irrelevant. Missionary discourse and practice use a specific strategy that involves a language of “derision, ” “refutation,” “demonstration,” “orthodoxy,” and “conformity.” Even converted Africans are not perceived as being equal to Europeans.

100 In other words, the faith of the colonial protégé is an effect of domination. It is a faith under tutelage, a faith by proxy. It is the native’s state of subjugation, dramatized as if for the theater. The Christian notion of history is altogether clear and simple: “a pagan past is wholly and entirely distress. The degradation of paganism goes without saying, just as does the superiority of Christianity.” The converts are to live in borrowed space which imposes a strange and unfamiliar personhood to which they must conform. The missionary education system avoids to foster the sense of autonomy and freedom in the African people, it substitutes for the African space a new one, more abstract, or even totally chimerical living space. The African past is completely denied unless it be a past of wandering which should be preserved in memory as an occasion of gratitude to God for being liberated from evil. In such a context, it was inevitable that Christianity would encounter resistance.

Eboussi Boulaga, F., Christianity without Fetishes: An African critique and recapture of Christianity. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1984).

THESIS 9. The role of Christian missionaries in the colonial enterprise

“Three major figures, from the fifteenth century to the end of the nineteenth, determined modalities and the pace of mastering, colonizing, and transforming the “Dark Continent”: the explorer, the soldier, and the missionary… Of all “these bearers of the African burden,” the missionary was, paradoxically, the best symbol of the colonial enterprise. He devoted himself sincerely to the ideals of colonialism: the expansion of Civilization, the dissemination of Christianity, and the advance of Progress. With equal enthusiasm, he served as an agent of a political empire, a representative of a civilization, and an envoy of God… As A.J. Christopher rightly observed “missionaries, possibly more than members of other branches of the colonial establishment, aimed at the radical transformation of indigenous society… They therefore sought, whether consciously or unconsciously, the destruction of pre-colonial societies and their replacement by new Christian societies in the image of Europe.”…

The missionary played an essential role in the general process of expropriation and, subsequently, exploitation of all the “new found lands” upon the earth. As G. Williams puts it, if in many areas his presence “helped to soften the harshness of European impact on the indigenous peoples whose lands were invaded and exploited,” his “fervour was allied, rather than opposed to commercial motive.” The scramble for Africa in the nineteenth century took place in an atmosphere of Christian revival: the age of Enlightenment and its criticism of religion had ended…

The more carefully one studies the history of missions in Africa, the more difficult it becomes not to identify it with cultural propaganda, patriotic motivations, and commercial interests, since the missions’ program is indeed more complex than the simple transmission of the Christian faith. From the sixteenth century to the eighteenth, missionaries were, through all the “new worlds,” part of the political process of creating and extending the right of European sovereignty over “newly discovered lands. In doing so, they obeyed the “sacred instructions” of Pope Alexander VI in his bull Inter Caetera (1493): to overthrow paganism and establish the Christian faith in all barbarous nations. The bulls of Nicholas V – Dum Diversas (1452) and Romanus Pontifex (1455) – had indeed already given the kings of Portugal the right to dispossess and eternally enslave Mahometans, pagans, and black peoples in general. Dum Diversas clearly stipulates this right to invade, conquer, expel, and fight Muslims, pagans, and other enemies of Christ wherever they may be. Christian kings, following the Pope’s decisions could occupy pagan kingdoms, principalities, lordships, possessions and dispossess them of their personal property, land, and whatever they might have. The king and his successors have the power and right to put these peoples into perpetual slavery. The missionaries, preceding or following a European flag, not only helped their home country to acquire new lands but also accomplished a “divine” mission ordered by the Holy Father, Dominator Dominus. It was in God’s

101 name that the Pope considered the planet his franchise and established the basic principles of terra nullius (nobody’s land), which denies non-Christian natives the right to an autonomous political existence and the right to own or to transfer ownership.

V.Y. Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa. Gnosis, Philosophy, and the order of knowledge. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988); pp.45-47.

“In the nineteenth century, the order of the day practically everywhere was the anti-slavery struggle. Yesterday the slaves had been baptized; today they were emancipated before being baptized, and freedom villages were founded. At Freetown, Libreville, Bagamoyo, philanthropy wrought wonders... Africa emerged from slavery, only to be plunged into colonization. The Berlin Conference of 1884-85 partitioned Africa into some thirty territories, or groups of territories, for exploitation and administration. The representatives of the states of Europe and America, invited by Bismarck to Berlin, regarded the blacks as minor children in need of the tutelage of whites. The colonial pact, finally, and the “indigenate,” or “native protectorate, established in Africa in the name of human rights, stripped our peoples of any rights or dignity... It was in the desert of this desolation of ours that the voice of the missionary resounded. Practically everywhere, the missionary was the ally of the colonizer, if an ally that the latter sometimes feared.. When Germany lost its colonies in 1919 did not the German missionary congregations depart, along with their administrators, and did not the French, Belgian and British arrive in the same ships with their new administrators? And when Italy conquered Ethiopia how many Italian congregations suddenly discovered a missionary vocation in Ethiopia? ... And this is how it went. It was not at all strange to hear natives speak of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide as the ministry of colonies of the Vatican or the spiritual ministry of colonies of Europe.” Mveng, Engelbert, “La rentrée de l’Afrique dans l’Eglise,” in Parole et Mission, 12 (1969),

pp.366-67. And Henry, A., “La mission sans frontières,” in Parole et Mission, 8 (1965), pp.215 f.

THESIS 10. Mariology and the colonial ideology of imperialist Christianity

One example of the way in which Marian spirituality has been evolving in the Catholic Church is found in the apparitions of Mary. Generally the apparitions reveal the conditioning of Christians at a given time and place. For instance, at Lourdes, Mary appears to Bernadette and speaks of herself as the Immaculate Conception, but she does not say anything about the conditions of the working class in France of the day. The apparition occurred during the heyday of the growth of industrial capitalism in Western Europe, and the working class was being severely exploited. Mary as the mother of all, and especially as a woman of the working class, should have felt these social evils to be a grave injustice. Much less did Mary, appearing in Lourdes, even hint at the enormous harm being done in Africa by French military and economic expansion in the colonial empire. It would be interesting to know whether Mary ever appeared to British Christians to challenge them concerning the British presence in Ireland or in India. Why was Mary of Lourdes incapable of enlightening French Christians concerning the atrocities being committed in Africa by their compatriots? These atrocities were committed almost in alliance with the Christian Churches. We note instead how Marian spirituality ignored such important aspects of Christian witness. However, if Bernadette had spoken of such things as the rights of French workers or of the African peoples, the shrine of Lourdes would probably not have developed in the manner it has during the last one and a quarter centuries. Mary appeared in Fatima in 1917, the year of the communist revolution in Russia. The message of Fatima was regarded as a warning against atheistic communism and its threat to the world.

102 At the same time, however, Portugal was exploiting Africans in Angola and Mozambique. Yet Mary seemed to say nothing about the internal and external evils of the ruling Portuguese regime. This Mary, who comes to us in apparitions, and who is accepted by the dominant establishment, is not a liberating Mary. She speaks of sin and prayer and their significance in the Church and the world. Such Marian apparitions do not communicate to women the sense of their dignity and rights. Services at Marian shrines are usually dominated by male clergy, and women are the recipients of advice and benedictions. The consciousness of Mary as an adult lay woman and mother, who participated actively in the work of Jesus, and in the mission of the early Church, is not conveyed by these apparitions nor the devotions associated with them. Thus Marian devotions still have, by and large, a domesticating impact on women and the laity. Religious women, too, are not helped by them to acquire a greater sense of their dignity, responsibilities and rights in the Church and in society. The male-dominated, patriarchal, salvation-oriented theology of the period from Augustine to Vatican II still pervades much of the Marian piety of Sri Lanka. There are a few changes, but very much more can be done to present Mary as she is seen in the Gospels, and in a manner relevant to today’s struggles. The Marian shrines, which are numerous and popular in Sri Lanka, have a similar impact. A shrine like Madhu has the effect of bringing Sri Lankans of different races together, and this can make a valuable social contribution. But many of the devotions are as described above. The hymns and prayers at the novenas of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Our Lady of Fatima and the Miraculous Medal encourage largely individualistic piety. Marian devotions - hymns and prayers and litanies - do not encourage the laity to penitence characterized by a concern for humanity and justice. This is quite different from the focus of the Mary of the Gospels. Similarly, Mary, who is said to have given the rosary to Christians, is claimed to have been on their side against the Turks, and she is invoked as the champion of Christians in the battle of Lepanto as “Our Lady of Victories.” It is presumed that she favours Christians, but why should she be partial to one group - say Europeans? Is she a European or Christian goddess or really the mother of Jesus who cared for all? We have, therefore, to examine the Mary of our theology, spirituality and popular devotions. With a few exceptions, witnessed by the Madonna of Guadelupe, or the Black Mary of Poland, where people suffering hardships present her differently, she is portrayed as one who does not understand the socialist world, nor the suffering imposed by countries that called themselves Christian in Asia, Africa and the Americas. This traditional Mary is a Mary of the capitalist, patriarchal, colonialist, First World of Christendom. This top-down Mariology leaves Mary to embody the message that the powerful want to hear. It is those who determine and dominate theological thinking who decide on the authenticity of any Mariology. Mariology might also be analysed in social terms, for it has been developed within a Christian community that depreciated the human, the feminine and sexuality, and did not appreciate liberative commitment to social justice. Mary has been declared the patroness of many Catholic countries. In Sri Lanka, the national basilica has been dedicated to her. She is honoured as Queen of Sri Lanka. But what is the substance of the message which is expressed in the basilica and in its official teachings and prayers to Mary? It would seem that she is invoked mainly as a protectress in distress, and a healer in sickness. The Madonna was invoked to defend us against the Japanese during British rule, but she was not asked to help our peoples in their struggle for national independence and economic liberation. It may be said that we were saved from the ravages of war. This is true, but it is not understood that the causes of the war were in great measure the imperialist hold of Britain and her Western allies over most of the poor world. It is necessary to consider these issues critically, otherwise we might create our national Madonna and

103 shrines to accommodate the framework of an unjust world order. This is quite against the spirit of the Magnificat. At present the shrine can help people to understand the root causes of our people’s misery, which include the selfishness and exploitation of local and foreign agencies. The national basilica can thus be a witness to Mary or a counter witness to her. Currently it would seem that little at the shrine is conducive to the triple liberation which the Magnificat proclaims: social, cultural and political.These areas need to be reconsidered in order that the shrine may be faithful to the message of Mary and of the Gospels. Tissa Balasuriya, Mary and Human Liberation.(Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1997); pp.31-33. (This book was first published in 1990).

3.2. Feel Good Education: Martin Bernal’s reply to Mary Lefkowitz There is no reason why the fact that Greek is a fundamentally Indo-European language should not be combined with the Ancient model’s multiple reports of Egyptian and Semitic influences. However, such cultural and linguistic mixture was intolerable to the Romantic racists who established the Aryan model and who, like Mary Lefkowitz today, insisted that there had been no significant Egyptian influence on Greece. The European abandonment of the Ancient model and the emergence of the Aryan model in the face of the new image of a black Egypt raises an amusing irony. Lefkowitz reiterates Arthur J. Schlesinger’s charge that Afrocentric history is purely an attempt to promote group self-esteem. ‘Real’ history, he argues, should consist of ‘dispassionate analysis, judgment and perspective.’ In fact, however, this is far from the way history is taught in schools anywhere in the world. In virtually every case, the nation or locality is always emphasized and placed above others. For instance, when I was sent to France at the age of seventeen, my French companion and I knew completely different sets of battles between the English and French. We had been told of our country’s victories, not of the defeats. Thus, for African American children to be taught about African and diasporic triumphs is not unusual, and is particularly useful given the constant psychological battering they receive in a racist society. On the other hand, I agree with Schlesinger and Lefkowitz that historical researchers should try to transcend their own environments and achieve objectivity as far as it is possible to do so. However, the Aryan model, with its denial of Ancient tradition and its insistence on a purely white, purely European Greece, is a supreme example of “feel- good” scholarship and education for whites, who have far less need of it than blacks. Martin Bernal, Black Athena Writes Back. (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2001; p.394.

104 3.2. CHINUA ACHEBE: “Colonization may indeed be a very complex affair, but one thing is certain: You do not walk in, seize the land, the person, the history of another, and then sit back and compose hymns of praise in his honor. To do that would amount to calling yourself a bandit. So what do you do? You construct very elaborate excuses for your action. You say, for instance, that the man in question is worthless and quite unfit to manage himself and his affairs. If there are valuable things like gold or diamonds which you are carting away from his territory, you proceed to prove that he doesn’t own them in the real sense of the word – that he and they just happened to be lying around the same place when you arrived. Finally, if worse comes to the worst, you will be prepared to question whether such as he can be, like you, fully human.” Chinua Achebe in African Commentary, vol.1, n0.2, Nov.1989. 3.3. Max Weber (1804-1891) : “When a man who is happy compares his position with that of one who is unhappy, he is not content with the fact of his happiness, but desires something more, namely the right to this happiness, the consciousness that he has earned his good fortune, in contrast to the unfortunate one who must equally have earned his misfortune. Our everyday experience proves that there exists just such a psychological need for reassurance as to the legitimacy or deservedness of one’s happiness, whether this involves political success, superior economic status,… or anything else. What the privileged classes require of religion, if anything at all, is this psychological reassurance of legitimacy.” Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993). 3.4. Karl Marx Education as the ideology of the ruling class: “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance.” (Karl Marx, The German Ideology, part.I) 3.5.Joseph Conrad: The Worship of the idea and Imperialist justification “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea-something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to.”

105 Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness, in Adler, Mortimer J., ed., Imaginative Literature. 3.6.1. Jahn Janheinz and the invention of the “Real Negro” mythology

Those who expect to see in their fellow men fools, blockheads or devils, will find evidence to confirm their prejudices. If we are convinced the other fellow cannot sing, we have only to call his song “a hellish row” in order to justify our claim. Simply by applying a certain vocabulary one can easily turn Gods into idols, faces into grimaces, votive images into fetishes, discussions into palavers and distort real objects and matters of fact through bigotry and prejudice. Prejudice has created types in the mind of the public. Only the most highly cultivated person, humane, cosmopolitan, enlightened, progressive, counts as a “real European.” A “real African,” on the other hand, lives in the bush, carves “primitive” scriptures, can neither read nor write, goes naked, lives carefree and happy from day to day and tells fairy stories about the crocodile and the elephant. The more “primitive,” the more “really African.” But an African who is enlightened and cosmopolitan, who presides in the most cultivated fashion over congresses, who makes political speeches or write novels, no longer counts as a “real” African. Janheinz, Jahn, Muntu: African culture and the Western World (New York, Grove Weidenfeld, 1990), p.20

3.6.2. “Africans are civilized to the marrow of their bones!

The idea of the barbaric Negro is a European invention.” (Leo Frobenius, German Africanist)

Cited by Césaire, Aimé, Discourse on Colonialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972); p.32.

3.7. Thomas Pakenham, Arthur Schlesinger, and the Human Rights ideology This history of human rights explains the development of the doctrine in Western societies. Unfortunately Eurocentric ways of thinking concluded that human rights are exclusively a Western invention, thus implying that other societies have always remained barbaric and hostile to human dignity. This view is well reflected in the writings of Thomas Pakenham, Arthur Schlesinger, and Steven J. Hood. It is the mainstream view shared by most scholars and politicians, as well as ordinary citizens who thus see themselves as “superior” to non- Europeans. Thus the doctrine of human rights has become the bedrock of Western self-image and the source of its contempt for the rest of Humankind. After having denounced colonialism with a vigor rare among Western scholars, Thomas Pakenham concluded his magnificent “The Scramble for Africa” with the following astonishing residue of Hegelian way of thinking: “By contrast with the uneven benefits that decolonization has brought to Africa, it has well suited the interests of Europe. Missionaries have continued to offer Christianity and civilization to the needy. White businessmen have continued to make their fortunes in Africa. In the last thirty years, Africa’s imports from the rest of the world have risen ten times. Lugard was right. In the post-colonial era, he predicted, Britain would still be Nigeria’s best customer. Indeed, his forecast could have been applied to all the ex-imperial powers. Trade preceded the flag and has outlasted it. Giant European and North American companies continue to dominate the economies of fledgling African states. The new word for this is neo-

106 colonialism. It is much the same as informal empire: the invisible empire of trade and influence that had preceded the Scramble. Yet how many Africans would wish to turn the clock back to the 1880s? The steamers and airlines of the world now bring material benefits to the forty-seven new states of the continent on a scale undreamt of a century ago. Best of all, Europe has given Africa the aspirations for freedom and human dignity, the humanitarian ideals of Livingstone, even if Europe itself was seldom able to live up to them.” Thomas Pakenham, The Scramble for Africa: White Man’s conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912. (New York: Avon Books, 1991); p.680. In a recent study on human rights in the global context, Steven J. Hood (professor and chair of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Ursinus college, in Pennsylvania) denounces the process of what he sees as “Rights hunting in Non- Western Traditions” and explicitly declares: “In their effort to secure human rights while still preserving cultural identities, scholars have engaged in a hunt for notions of rights in non-Western traditions. I argue that such a quest is misdirected. Human rights... are ideas rooted in the Western philosophical tradition. Using the examples of Confucianism and Islam, I suggest that they lack the philosophical foundations for a full-fledged concept of rights... I conclude that non-Western thinkers must adopt rights theory from the Western liberal traditions.” Steven J. Hood, “Rights Hunting in Non-Western Traditions” in Bell, Lynda S., et al., eds., Negociating Culture and Human Rights. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001); p.96.

Writing in 1991 on the history of human rights, the American historian Arthur Schlesinger offered the following view of world history: There remains however a crucial difference between the Western tradition and the others. The crimes of the West have produced their own antidotes. They have provoked great movements to end slavery, to raise the status of women, to abolish torture, to combat racism, to defend freedom of inquiry and expression, to advance personal liberty and human rights. Whatever the particular crimes of Europe, that continent is also the source - the unique source - of those liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and cultural freedom that constitute our most precious legacy and to which most of the world today aspires. These are European ideas, not Asian, nor African, nor Middle Eastern ideas, except by adoption. Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (New York:Whittle Communications, 1991); p.76.

This Eurocentric ideology of human rights is contradicted by the concrete history of Western societies as well as the untold history of African and other non-European societies. As the German scholar Heiner Bielefeldt rightly pointed out,

“First, it seems crucial to admit that human rights do not simply derive from the entirety of Western culture. It is obvious that the guiding principle of human rights, roughly defined as the political claim to equal liberty for all human beings, does not occur in the basic sources of Occidental religion, philosophy, or culture; it can be found neither in the Jewish-Christian

107 Bible, nor in Greek philosophy. Instead, human rights emerged quite late in Western history... The right to political resistance against tyranny, frequently viewed as a main source of human rights in general, was rooted in various cultures in Africa, Europe, and China. In any case, the search for affinities between modern human rights conceptions and premodern traditions cannot be an exclusively Occidental privilege.” Heiner Bielefeldt, “Secular Human Rights: challenge and opportunity to Christians and Muslims” in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol.7, N0.3, 1996; pp.284

3.6. Cheikh Anta Diop: "Imperialism, like the prehistoric hunter, first killed the being spiritually and culturally, before trying to eliminate it physically. The negation of the history and intellectual accomplishments of Black Africans was cultural, mental murder, which preceded and paved the way for their genocide here and there in the world" (Cheikh Anta Diop, From Civilization or Barbarism, 1981, pp.1-2) 3.7. Martin Luther King,Jr. - “Racism is the absurd dogma that one race is responsible for all the progress of history and alone can assure the progress of the future. It is the dogma that the hope of civilization depends upon eliminating some races and keeping others pure.” (Martin Luther King,Jr., Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community ? Boston: Beacon Press, 1968); p.69-70. 3.8 Malcolm X “Now what effect does the struggle in Africa have on us? Why should the Black man in America concern himself since he’s been away from the African continent for three or four hundred years? Why should we concern ourselves? What impact does what happens to them have upon us? Number one, you have to realize that up until 1959 Africa was dominated by the colonial powers. Having complete control over Africa, the colonial powers of Europe projected the image of Africa negatively. They always projected Africa in a negative light: jungle savages, cannibals, nothing civilized. it was so negative that it was negative to you and me, and you and I began to hate it. We didn’t want anybody telling us anything about Africa, much less calling us Africans, we ended up hating ourselves, without even realizing it. Because you can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate your origin and not end up hating yourself. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself. (Malcolm X, February 1965: The final Speeches. New York; Pathfinder, 1992. p.93)

3. 9. Basil Davidson “Old views (views of Victorian evolutionists) about Africa are worth recalling because, though vanished from serious discussion, they still retain a kind of underground existence. The stercoraceous sediment of Burton’s opinions, and of others such as Burton, has settled like a layer of dust and ashes on the minds of large numbers of otherwise thoughtful people, and is constantly being swirled about. What this leads to, despite all factual evidence to the

108 contrary, are endless suspicions that writers such as Lothrop Stoddard were or are just possibly right when they wrote or write about the ‘natural and inherent inferiority’ of Africans; that ‘in the Negro, we are in the presence of a being differing profoundly not merely from the white man but also from (other) human types’; or that ‘the Negro... has contributed virtually nothing’ to the civilization of the world. However scientifically mistaken, these notions apparently remain part of our culture. Often it is the aggressive violence of such opinions that most surprises... When our Grand children reflect on the middle and later years of the twentieth century, above all on the years lying between about 1950 and 1980, and think about us writers of African history, of the history of the black peoples, I think that they will see us as emerging from a time of ignorance and misunderstanding. For these were the liberating years when accounts began at last to be squared with the malice and mystification of racism. And by racism I do not mean, of course, that phalanx of old superstitions, fears and fantasies associated with ancient white ideas about blackness, or not less ancient black ideas about whiteness, the ideas of an old world in which distance always induced distortion. By racism I mean the conscious and systematic weapon of domination, of exploitation (...) , which first saw its demonic rise with the onset of the trans-Atlantic trade in African captives sold into slavery, and which, later, led on to the imperialist colonialism of our yesterdays. This racism was not a “mistake,” a “misunderstanding” or a “grievous deviation from the proper norms of behavior.” It was not an accident of human error. It was not an unthinking reversion to barbarism. This racism was conceived as the moral justification - the necessary justification, as it was seen by those in the white man’s world who were neither thieves nor moral monsters - for doing to black people what church and state no longer thought it permissible to do to white people: the justification for enslaving black people, that is, when it was no longer permissible to enslave white people. This weapon of exploitation has its own history, developing new uses in new situations, as many of us know or remember or even now may still experience. But this has been a history, nonetheless, which began to come to an end in the middle and later years of the twentieth century. One of the reasons why it began to come to an end has been the emergence of the Africans from their colonialist subjection.” Basil Davidson, The African Genius.. Boston: Little, Brown and Company,1969); p.25. Basil Davidson, African Civilization Revisited from Antiquity to Modern time. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991);pp.3-4. “Having taken possession of Africa in the 1880s and soon after, the dispossessors were bound to assure themselves, if only for their own peace of mind, that they had also acted for the benefit and eventual welfare of the peoples they had dispossessed. Left to their pre-industrial and pre-scientific primitivism, said the colonialists, Africans could never have modernized their communities, their ideas and beliefs, their ways of self-government. Colonialism might be a rough and though business; never mind, foreign rule was what Africa needed if any real progress were to become possible. The Africa of a century ago, it was said, was lost in the futile ties of a bygone age, unable to help itself….The Negro, many have believed, is a man without a past. Black Africa-Africa south of the Sahara desert-is on this view a continent where men by their own efforts have never raised themselves much above the level of the beasts. “No ingenious manufactures among them, no arts, no sciences,” commented David Hume. “No approach to the civilization of his white fellow creatures who he imitates as a monkey does a man,” added Trollope...Africans, on this view, had never evolved civilization of their own; if they possessed a history, it could be scarcely worth the telling. And this belief

109 that Africans had lived in universal chaos or stagnation until the coming of Europeans seemed not only to find its justification in a thousand tales of savage misery and benigned ignorance; it was also, of course, exceedingly convenient in high imperial times. For it could be argued (and it was; indeed, it still is) that these peoples, history-less, were naturally inferior or else they were ‘children who had still to grow up’; in either case they were manifestly in need of government by others who had grown up….It is an old and true saying that you cannot develop other people, you can only develop yourself. Other people either develop themselves, or they do not at all. Peoples in Africa, before the long colonial interruption, had developed themselves. From this self-development had come a rich variety of social and political systems: self-governing communities, complex patterns of trade and of production for trade, valuable techniques like the skills of tropical agriculture, metal-working, textile weaving and so on. History also shows that this self-development, in all its complexity, had derived from indispensable principles of statecraft. Communities which upheld these principles had been able to succeed and prosper. Communities which ignored or denied these principles had failed and fallen into confusion. These pre-colonial principles were concerned with preventing the abuse of executive power; with ensuring that power was shared across the community in question; and, to safeguard this participation, with upholding the rule of law. Every successful community in old Africa had operated in one way or another on these principles of statecraft; and such communities had been many. These were the truths that the colonial powers, and their ideologists, had always denied. Colonial ideologists had said that black people had never known how best to govern themselves: white people must do it for them. Such was the ideological basis of colonialism. And the same idea, however muted, was also the basis of...new-colonialism.” Davidson, Basil, Modern Africa: A Social and Political History. (London: Longman, 1995); pp.265-269; and Davidson, Basil, The Lost Cities of Africa. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1959); p.ix. 3.10. Graham Connah on Precolonial African civilization Reflecting on the continuing exclusion of Africa from World History, Graham Connah made the following observation: “There were cities and states in tropical Africa long before the colonial ambitions of European peoples transformed that continent. The appearance of such cities and states was one of the most significant developments of tropical Africa’s history prior to the colonial experience. It is also a development that has had relatively little attention from world-wide scholarship, although there does exist a substantial specialist academic literature on the subject. Outside Africa itself there persists, amongst people in general, a deeply ingrained conviction that precolonial tropical Africa consisted only of scattered villages of mud or grass huts, their inhabitants subsisting on shifting cultivation or semi-nomadic pastoralism. What is more surprising, and more disturbing, is that this sort of stereotype seems also to have had some effect upon scholars considering the emergence of cities and states as global phenomena. For example, in 1978 the Wolfson Lectures at the University of Oxford were devoted to the subject ‘The Origins of Civilization’ but in their published version at least, they contained no discussion of African developments other than those in Egypt. At a more popular level, a recent book entitled The Encyclopedia of ancient civilizations(Cotterell, 1983) similarly excludes Africa (except, of course, for Egypt) although it does include West Asia, India, Europe, China, and America. Yet such a coverage is liberal indeed compared with what would have been acceptable thirty or forty years ago. Gordon Childe was perhaps

110 the most important exponent of an academic tradition that saw the origins of civilization as the origins of European culture. Glyn Daniel has described how he once asked Childe why he did not give more attention to the American civilizations. Childe’s answer was characteristically terse and to the point: ‘Never been there - peripheral and highly suspect’. Could it be that the continued exclusion of tropical Africa from general discussions of world civilization represents a survival of this sort of attitude ?… The emergence of urbanism and political centralization in the West African savanna has long been attributed to contact with the Mediterranean world, resulting from long- distance trade. Suspiciously, the origins of that trade have usually been dated to the period of the earliest historical sources that touch on the subject. Archaeology has until recently played a confirmatory, some might even say a subservient, role in the stock historical interpretation. It has been a case of so much historical information being available that archaeologists have failed to ask the sort of questions that they might have asked otherwise. As a result, the quality of the archaeological data available to shed light on the origins of cities and states in the West African savanna is poor. Fortunately, there have in recent years been some exceptions to this general rule. The work at Jenne is a notable example. Reviewing such new evidence, along with the older evidence obtained over the last eighty years or so, leads to questioning the long-accepted external-stimulus explanation.

In addition, it is possible that localized population pressures were stimulating social developments leading to urbanism. Such developments seem to have taken place before the advent of Islam, nevertheless, with the ideological support of a variety of probably animistic religions. Finally, although adequately dated evidence is very limited, it seems most likely that an extensive trading network existed within West Africa before the Arab trade across the Sahara was developed. The savanna towns were indeed 'ports' at the edge of the 'sea of sand', but they were ports with a vast trading hinterland that was already developed. After all, what ship would ever visit a port unless there was a chance of a cargo to collect?... It was in the second half of the fifteenth century AD that European sailors first set eyes on the southerly coast of West Africa... As the centuries went by, it was this coast that became known as 'The White Man's Grace': a name that to many proved to be no exaggeration. Yet it was neither altruism nor curiosity that tempted most Europeans to such a region, it was profit. The very name that they gave to different parts of this coast indicate their motives: 'The Grain(Pepper) Coast', 'The Ivory Coast', 'The Gold Coast', 'The Slave Coast'. For Europeans had quickly discovered that behind the coast itself lay a forested hinterland rich in resources, where the inhabitants were able and willing to trade on a considerable scale. Not only that, but those inhabitants lived in highly organized communities, some of which took on a size and density which left the visitors in no doubt about what they were dealing with.

These quotations have been deliberately selected from early in the history of European West African contact. This has been done because state development and urbanization in the West African forest have sometimes been written about as if they were developments resulting from that contact rather than pre-dating it. For instance, this is the impression given by Goody when he discusses what he calls the 'gun states of the forest'. Although there is no doubt that European seaborne trade did play an important part in the later development of the forest states and their towns and cities, historical sources suggest that some of them at least were in existence before that trade started. Graham Connah, African Civilizations: Precolonial cities and States in tropical Africa: an archaeological perspective , Cambridge University Press, 1987; pp. 6; 119-122 3.11. Richard Wright

111 In 1954 Richard Wright spoke of the Idea of Africa as the result of a combination of various factors, economic interests, missionary motivations, and unconscious psychological needs: It seems that the world cannot leave Africa alone. All of Europe is represented here in Africa. The businessman, the missionary, and the soldier are here, and each of them looks at the question of the meaning of human life on their earth when he looks at Africa. The businessman wants to get rich, which means that African suffering to him is an opportunity. The soldier wants to kill-for the African is “different” and is, therefore, an enemy. The missionary yearns to “save,” that is, to remake his own image; but it is not the African that he is trying to save; it is himself... One does not react to Africa as Africa is, and this is because so few can react to life as life is. One reacts to Africa as one is, as one lives; one’s reaction to Africa is one’s life, one’s ultimate sense of things. Africa is a vast, dingy mirror and what modern man sees in that mirror he hates and wants to destroy. He thinks, when looking into that mirror, that he is looking at black people who are inferior, but, really, he is looking at himself and, unless he possesses a superb knowledge of himself, his first impulse to vindicate himself is to smash this horrible image of himself which his own soul projects out upon this Africa... The European white man made Africa what he, at bottom, thought of himself; it was the rejected and the self-despised of Europe who conquered and despoiled Africa… But today Africa is not alone in her misery. She is keenly aware that there are others who would solve their problems at the expense of her misery.... To ask if Africa can be changed is to ask if man can be changed. Africa must and will become a religion, not a religion contained within the four walls of a church, but a religion lived and fought out beneath the glare of a pitiless tropic sun. The fight will be long, new, unheard of, necessitating a weighing of life in terms that modern man has not yet thought of. Wright, Richard, Black Power: A Record of Reactions in a Land of Pathos. (New York: HarperPerennial, 1995); p.174-175. 3.12. SARTRE (Colonial education and the manufacturing of a token elite):

Not so very long ago, the earth numbered two thousand million inhabitants: five hundred million men, and one thousand five hundred million natives. The former had the Word; the others had the use of it. Between the two there were hired kinglets, overlords, and a bourgeoisie, sham from beginning to end, which served as go-betweens. In the colonies the truth stood naked, but the citizens of the mother country preferred it with clothes on: the native had to love them, something in the way mothers are loved. The European elite undertook to manufacture a native elite. They picked out promising adolescents; they branded them, as with a red-hot iron, with the principles of Western culture; they stuffed their mouths full with high-sounding phrases, grand glutinous words that stuck to the teeth. After a short stay in the mother country they were sent home, whitewashed. These walking lies had nothing left to say to their brothers; they only echoed. From Paris, from London, from Amsterdam we would utter the words “Parthenon! Brotherhood!” and somewhere in Africa or Asia lips would open “...thenon! ... therhood! It was a golden age… But eventually it came to an end: the mouths opened of their own accord; the yellow and black voices still talked out our humanism, but it

112 was to reproach us for our inhumanity. That was before 1939. Now listen in 1961: “Let us quit this Europe which talks incessantly about man while massacring him wherever it meets him, on every corner of its own streets, in every corner of the world. For centuries… in the name of a supposed ‘spiritual adventure’, it has been suffocating almost the whole of humanity.” This tone is new. Who dares to adopt it? An African, a man of the Third World, a former colonial subject. He adds: “Europe has reached such a mad and uncontrollable speed… that it is heading towards an abyss from which it would be better to move away.” When Fanon says of Europe that it is heading toward ruin, far from giving a cry of alarm, he offers a diagnosis. What else is Europe doing? Or that super-European monster, North America? What empty chatter: liberty, equality, fraternity, love, honour, country and who knows what else? That did not prevent us from holding forth at the same time in racist language: filthy nigger, filthy Jew, filthy North Africans. Enlightened, liberal and sensitive souls – in short neocolonialists –claimed to be shocked by this inconsistency; that is an error and bad faith. Nothing is more consistent, among us, than racist humanism, since Europeans have only been able to make themselves human beings by creating slaves and monsters.”

Sartre, Jean-Paul, “Preface” to Fanon, Frantz, The Wretched of the Earth. (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1963); p.7.

3.13. The miseducation of the Negro and “pauperisme anthropologique”

Carter G. Woodson’s The Miseducation of the Negro The “educated Negro” is a hopeless liability of the race.

The mere imparting of information is not education. Above all things, the effort must result in making a man think and for himself just as the Jews have done in spite of universal persecution… The educational system as it has developed both in Europe and America is an antiquated process which does not hit the mark even in the case of the needs of the white man himself. If the white man wants to hold on to it, let him do so; but the Negro, so far as he is able, should develop and carry out a program of his own. In light of the results obtained from the so-called education of the Negro, it may be of no importance to the race to be able to boast today of many times as many “educated” members as it had in 1865. If they are of the wrong kind the increase in numbers will be a disadvantage rather than an advantage. The only question which concerns us here is whether these “educated” persons are actually equipped to face the ordeal before them or unconsciously contribute to their own undoing by perpetuating the regime of the oppressor…

When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary. The same educational process which inspires and stimulates the oppressor with the thought that he is everything and has accomplished everything worth while, depresses and crushes at the same time the spark of genius in the Negro by making him feel that his race does not amount to much and never will measure

113 up to the standards of other peoples. The Negro thus educated is a hopeless liability of the race… When a Negro has finished his education in our schools, then, he has been equipped to begin the life of an Americanized or Europeanized white man…

While being a good American, he must above all things be a “good Negro”; and

to perform this definite function he must learn to stay in a “Negro’s place.” For the arduous task of serving a race thus handicapped, however, the Negro graduate has had little or no training at all. The people whom he has been ordered to serve have been belittled by his teachers to the extent that he can hardly find delight in undertaking what his education has led him to think is impossible. Considering his race as blank in achievement, then, he sets out to stimulate their imitation of others…The “educated Negroes” have the attitude of contempt toward their own people because in their own as well as in their mixed schools Negroes are taught to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton and to despise the African…The thought of the inferiority of the negro is drilled into him in almost every class he enters and in almost every book he studies. If he happens to leave school after he masters the fundamentals, before he finishes high school or reaches college, he will naturally escape some of this bias and may recover in time to be of service to his people.

Practically all of the successful Negroes in this country (USA) are of the uneducated type or of that of Negroes who have had no formal education at all. The large majority of the Negroes who have put on the finishing touches of our best colleges are all but worthless in the development of their people… The so-called modern education, with all its defects does others so much more good than it does the Negro, because it has been worked out in conformity to the needs of those who have enslaved and oppressed weaker peoples. For example, the philosophy and ethics resulting from our educational system have justified slavery, peonage, segregation, and lynching. The oppressor has the right to exploit, to handicap, and to kill the oppressed. Negroes daily educated in the tenets of such a religion of the strong have accepted the status of the weak as divinely ordained, and during the last three generations of their nominal freedom they have done practically nothing to change it. Their pouting and resolutions indulged in by a few of the race have been of little avail. No systematic effort toward change has been possible, for, taught the same economics, history, philosophy, literature and religion which have established the present code of morals, the Negro’s mind has been brought under the control of his oppressor… In schools of theology Negroes are taught the interpretation of the Bible worked out by those who have justified segregation and winked at the economic debasement of the Negro sometimes almost to the point of starvation. Deriving their sense of right from this teaching, graduates of such schools can have no message to grip the people whom they have been ill trained to serve. Most of such mis-educated ministers, therefore, preach to benches while illiterate Negro preachers do the best they can in supplying the spiritual needs of the masses.

Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro. (Chicago: African American Images, 2000). First published in 1933 by Associated Publishers, Washington).

114 PAUPERISME ANTHROPOLOGIQUE When we consider the human condition in Africa, we discover that under the slavery and oppression of colonial regimes, the oppressors did not intend to physically destroy the black Africans, as they did with the American natives; but rather, they tended toward the political, economic, and cultural destruction of the black man and woman, while preserving their physical labor power, which was considered a precious raw material for the enrichment of whites. The black man and woman deprived of any identity, any personality, were reduced to the state of brutes, to becoming simple machines for production. African independence has brought no liberation to the black man and woman. New structures of oppression - under the mask of assistance - make them politically, economically, and culturally poorer and poorer and more and more dependent. We call this whole system: an anthropological pauperization system. If pauperization consists in making persons poorer and poorer by depriving them of what they have, what they are, and what they do, pauperization becomes anthropological when persons are deprived of their identity, dignity, essential rights, culture, history…Cultural pauperization structures are both multifarious and subtle. They deprive the whole people of their history, languages, arts, techniques. They totally wash their brain of any creativity, any ambition, any attempt to search, imagine, or achieve any solution adapted to their needs. Moreover, they cause such an economic, social, and cultural bareness that the most dynamic ideas are condemned to die fruitfullessly. Then they arrange an appropriate space for the implantation of a cultural misery-making industry maintained by so-called “technical assistance,” “technologies transfer systems,” and other multinational enterprises for anthropological pauperization…It is in the cultural area that the anthropological pauperization of Africans attacked the deepest roots of their awakened and fierce instinct of self-defense... In the colonial system, the most effective means for destroying Africans was to destroy their culture. Several methods were used to accomplish this aim: assimilation here, segregation there, vandalism everywhere, and especially the practice of “tabula rasa” and systematic negation. School has thus been a huge industry of cultural demolition, depersonalization, and anthropological pauperization. Stripped of their identity, their history, their language, their social, economic, and political institutions, their dignity, their creativeness, the Negro-Africans have been reduced to complete “destitution as human being,” to a real state of near annihilation. The greatest tragedy of Africa resides in the permanence of this state of annihilation following independence. More than twenty-five years after colonial times, most African countries have recovered neither their languages, their history, their art, nor the huge wealth of their spiritual heritage. Nowadays, in some African families, children come into the world with neither a language nor a village. They do not even know their forefathers. Many of those children are but ghosts of Africans, speaking only foreign languages and begging from imported cultures for their food, their clothing, their mental structures, their thought categories, and the caricatures of their life schemes and their social structures. They continue to be emptied of their life by their schooling. Schools continually turn out uprooted, unemployed workers, who are even foreigners in their own country. In many countries, they are taught in school neither African languages, nor African history, nor African art… What may be understood is that nowadays African society is disabled. Churches and established governments are also disabled. Society, which is losing everything, struggles for survival... The social underdevelopment of Africa represents a fundamental aspect of the anthropological pauperization of the African person. If we define

115 pauperization as the fact of becoming or making poor, namely being deprived of all that we have acquired, all that we are and all that we can do, we shall recognize that Africa is subjugated to structures which result in complete pauperization: political, economic, and social. When it is not a matter of being deprived of all that we own, but rather of all that we are - our human identity, our social roots, our history, our culture, our dignity, our rights, our hopes, and our plans - then pauperization becomes anthropological. It then affects religious and cultural life at its very roots. nAbraham, K.C., ed., Third World Theologies: Commonalities and Divergences (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1990); pp.35-36. 3.14. Immanuel Kant Colonial education makes statements which at a close scrutinity appear utterly strange, and even to some extent silly. What Kant said about Europe, applies well to the education and theories articulated by some prominent scholars: It is hard to suppress a certain disgust when contemplating men’s action upon the world stage. For one finds, in spite of apparent wisdom in detail that everything, taken as a whole, is interwoven with stupidity, childish vanity, often with childish viciousness and destructiveness. In the end, one does not know what kind of conception one should have of our species which is so conceited about its superior qualities. (Immanuel Kant, Idea for a Universal History with Cosmopolitan Intent, 1784. in Carl J. Friedrich, The Philosophy of Kant. Immanuel Kant’s Moral and Political Writings. New York: The Modern Library, 1993; p.129). 3.15. Rene Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy There was once a young man who was troubled because he discovered that many of the things he believed, many of which he had been taught by his elders and in school, were false or, at least, were unsupported by the evidence. Despite having the best education available, he found it filled with errors. For some years he resolved that were he to obtain leisure time, he would use it not for entertainment or professional purposes but in order to rework his entire system of knowledge. He writes:

Some years ago I was struck by the large number of falsehoods that I had accepted as true in my childhood, and by the highly doubtful nature of the whole edifice that I had subsequently based on them. I realized that it was necessary, once in the course of my life, to demolish everything completely and start again right from the foundations if I wanted to establish anything at all in the sciences that was stable and likely to last. But the task looked an enormous one, and I began to wait until I should reach a mature enough age to ensure that so subsequent time of life would be more suitable for tackling such inquires. This led me to put the project off for so long that I would now be to blame if by pondering over it any further I wasted the time still left for carrying it out. So today I

116 have expressly rid my mind of all worries and arranged for myself a clear stretch of free time. I am here quite alone, and at last I will devote mystelf sincerely and without reservation to the general demolition of my opinions (First Meditation on First Philosophy)…

I had been nourished on the humanities since childhood, and since I was given to believe that by their means a clear and certain knowledge could be obtained of all that is useful in life, I was extremely eager to learn them. But as soon as I had finished my course of study at the end of which one is normally admitted among the ransks of the learned, I completely altered my view on the matter. For I found myself embarrassed by so many doubts and errors, that it seemed to me that the only profit I had had from my efforts to acquire knowledge was the progressive discovery of my own ignorance. And yet I was in one of the most prestigious schools in Europe, and if knowledge existed anywhere, it must be in the scholars there. I had learned everything that the others were learning there, and, not content with the studies in which we were instructed, I had even perused all the books that came into my hands, treating of subjects considered advanced and esoteric. At the same time I knew that others regarded me with respect, even though some of these were as brilliant as any age has produced. Having studied with the best, and learned from them, I was confident that I should seek knowledge in myself, or at least in the great book of the world. I employed the rest of my youth in travel, in seeing courts and armies, in conversation with men of diverse temperaments and conditions, in collecting varied experiences, in testing myself in the vrious predicaments in which I was placed by fortune. In all circumstances I sought to bring my mind to bear on the things that came before it so that I might derive some profit from my experience. I had a passion to learn to distinguish truth from falsehood in order to have clear insiht into my actions and how to live my life. So for nine years I did nothing but roam hither and thither, trying to be a spectator rather than an actor in all the comedies which the world displays. I considered the manners and customs of other men, and found nothing to give me settled convictions anything that I had been convinced of. I noticed in people’s beliefs and customs as much diversity as I had earlier noticed in the views of philosophers. So much was this so, that I learned not to believe too firmly by example and custom. I thus gradually freed myself from many errors that may obscure the light of nature in us and make us less capable of hearing reason. But after spending these years in the study of the book of the world and in trying to gain experience, the day came when I resolved to make my studies within myself, and use all of the powers of my mind to choose the path that I must follow. Cited in Louis P. Pojman, ed., Classics of Philosophy. Volume II: Modern and Contemporary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp.463-465

117 Part 2. OUTLINE OF KEY POINTS IN THE STUDY OF ATR

XI. Misconceptions about ATR (Hegelian Paradigm yesterday and today): colonization of knowledge

XII. Persecution of ATR and African Genocide (Slave trade and colonialism) XIII. Recognition of the spiritual values of ATR (Decolonization of knowledge) XIV. Origin and Evolution of ATR XV. Sources for a genuine understanding of ATR

1. Names of African people and African names of God 2. African languages 3. African proverbs 4. Creation myths 5. African oral tradition 6. Pedagogical folk tales 7. Education of children 8. Art and music 9. African songs 10. African hospitality 11. Rituals (birth, marriage, death) 12. Moral code and Personhood 13. African history :

- 1. African history in general - 2. the history of resistance movements - 3. Struggle for independence - 4. Struggle against apartheid - 5. Struggle against dictatorship

14. African attitude toward life and death 15. African Institutions

- 1. Family institutions - 2. Political institutions(investiture speeches, sage king doctrine,

rebellion or resistance movements, political proverbs) - 3. Traditional Justice Systems - 4. Economic institutions (attitude vis-à-vis private property)

16. African Christian theologians involved in the Africanization of Christianity 17. African independent churches 18. Western scholars of good will (some anthropologists), Western neo-pagan

movement and Westerners converted to indigenous African religions, ecological movement and alternative medicine.

19. “Interreligious Dialogue” scholars 20. Interreligious dialogue movement and its literature (Biblical texts, Official

documents of the Catholic Church, Vatican II, various Christian theologians)

XVI. Major centers of production of academic knowledge about ATR and Major authors and works (African and Western scholarship) Major Centers: Nigeria, Ghana, DRC Congo, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa.

118 (Dogon people of Mali, Akan of Ghana, Yoruba of Nigeria, Baluba of

Congo,..)

XVII. ATR in Africa and the Americas (continent and Diaspora) XVIII. Population (how many people and what kind of people practice ATR) XIX. Why does ATR matter? (ATR’ contribution to World Spirituality) XX. Content of the religion

X. CONTENT OF THE RELIGION 1. Concept of God (God, Spirits, Ancestors)

- 1. Cosmotheandricity - 2. Vidye Mukulu, Shakapanga - 3. God as family (Leza, Mikishi, Bankambo) - 4. God as “Adro-Adroa” - 5. God’s attributes

2. The world and its creation 3. Human beings (human nature, and moral character)

- 1. Divine origin of Humanity - 2. Body, Soul, Shadows and other entities - 3. Name and identity (Theophoric Names) - 4. “Fadenya-Badenya” - 5. “Bumuntu.” (Centrality of good character)

4. Moral values ** 5. Immortality and the afterlife 6. Worship, rituals and festivals 7. Religious agents (priests, diviners, exorcists, mediums, prophets) 8. Witches and witchcraft 9. Healing 10. Special topics:

- 1. Attitude toward the environment - 2. Attitude toward foreigners - 3. Attitude toward foreign religions - 4. Attitude toward people with disabilities - 5. Attitude toward women - 6. Attitude toward children - 7. Attitude toward wealth and poverty, and capitalism - 8. Attitude toward political power, government systems and rulers

a. attitude toward politics in general b. attitude toward democracy and human rights c. attitude toward tyrannical governments d. doctrine of “Sage King”

- 9. Attitude toward slavery, slave trade and colonialism - 10. Attitude toward war

119

** X. 4. Major African moral values (Virtues) 1. Love and compassion, caring for others. 2. Respect for all life (including animals and plants) 3. Buleme (self-respect, sense of personal dignity, pride, nobility, honour, self-control,

domination of one’s emotions) 4. Courage and asceticism (overcoming fear, domination of pain) 5. The value of silence (and control of the tongue) 6. Hospitality 7. Solidarity (your joy is my joy, your pain is my pain) 8. Non-discrimination 9. modesty in sexual matters (including clothing and walk) 10. Rejection of adultery, No promiscuity, high regard for virginity. 11. No incest 12. Not lying 13. Not killing (no fight, no violence, no war) 14. Not stealing 15. Not being greedy, Not being selfish (generosity) 16. Not lusting (no envy) 17. Not having evil thought (controlling one’s thought) 18. Not using harmful talk ( always speaking with kindness) 19. Purity of heart, purity of intention (no hypocrisy, no ill-wish to people) 20. Keeping one’s word 21. No evil eye, not looking at people with hostility and bad wishes, no threatening look 22. Not cursing 23. No laughing at people with disabilities (“Koseha lemene Vidye muntanda ukihanga”) 24. Respect for parents 25. Respect for the elderly 26. Polite manners 27. Being peaceful and peace maker, 28. Controlling one’s anger 29. Humility (no arrogance) 30. Honesty, Fairness, Justice

After centuries of colonial distortion and racist scholarship, the high quality of African spiritual values and moral standards is now widely acknowledged in world scholarship and even by Pope John Paul II !

120 RECOGNITION OF AFRICAN MORAL QUALITIES AND SPIRITUAL VALUES “Africans are civilized to the marrow of their bones! The idea of the barbaric Negro is a European invention.” (Leo Frobenius, German Africanist) Cited by Césaire, Aimé, Discourse on Colonialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972); p.32. “Undoubtedly prompted by the demon of literature, the ethnographers who tell us of African trances emphasize their brutality. But African mysticism has its nuances, half-tones, and melodic lines. Among the Yoruba and Fon there is an entire civilization of spirituality comparable to that of the wood carvings and bronzes of Benin.” Bastide, R., Le Candomblé de Bahia, cited by Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press); p.126. “African wisdom is not merely a convenient expression; it is something that exists. It is a collection of unique precepts that enable the people of traditional Africa to settle as harmoniously as possible the disputes that mar human relationships.” Balandier, Georges and Maquet, Jacques, Dictionary of Black African Civilization. (New York: Leon Amiel, ); p.336.

The Testimony of Pope John Paul II In 1994, during the first African Synod of Bishops held in Rome, Pope John-Paul II declared the following: Although Africa is very rich in natural resources, it remains economically poor. At the same time, it is endowed with a wealth of cultural values and priceless human qualities which it can offer to the Churches and to humanity as a whole... They are values which can contribute to an effective reversal of the Continent’s dramatic situation and facilitate that worldwide revival on which the desired development of individual nations depends. Africans have a profound religious sense, a sense of the sacred, of the existence of God the Creator and of a spiritual world. The reality of sin in its individual and social forms is very much present in the consciousness of these peoples, as is also the need for rites of purification and expiation. In African culture and tradition the role of the family is everywhere held to be fundamental. Open to this sense of the family, of love and respect for life, the African loves children, who are joyfully welcomed as gifts of God. “The sons and daughters of Africa love life. It is precisely this love for life that leads them to give such great importance to the veneration of their ancestors… The peoples of Africa respect the life…They rejoice in this life. They reject the idea that it can be destroyed, even when the so-called ‘progressive civilizations’ would like to lead them in this direction. And practices hostile to life are imposed on them by means of economic systems which serve the selfishness of the rich. Africans show their respect for human life until its natural end, and keep elderly parents and relatives within the family. African cultures have an acute sense of solidarity and community life… It is my ardent hope and prayer that Africa will always preserve this priceless cultural heritage and never succumb to the temptation to individualism, which is so alien to its best traditions. Maura Browne, ed., The African Synod: Documents, Reflections, Perspectives. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996); p. 245.

121 “The African traditional approach with its holistic emphasis has much to give to the modern world with its closed, limited, merely rationalist disposition. The post-modern worldview, which will hopefully become more prevalent, will find ready rapport with the traditional African worldview. If technology and science could help Africa to develop without becoming an ideology on this continent, and if Africa retains its sensitivity to the depth of human existence, this continent could be at the forefront of the restoration of mankind’s true humanity.”

Gerhardus Cornelis Oosthuizen, “The Place of Traditional Religion in Contemporary South Africa” in Jacob K. Olupona, ed, African Tradition Religions in Contemporary Society. (New York: Paragon House, 1991); pp.48-49.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND EPISTEMOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK Part 1. Principles of Religious Tolerance and the Recognition of Traditional Religions (See Introduction, part 1) Part 2. The “Cradle of Humanity” theory and its implications for world civilizations and religions (See Introduction, part 2) Part 3. Beyond Colonialism: African Renaissance, Multiculturalism and the Revival of Traditional Religions Part 4. Revisiting the Sources of Knowledge HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND EPISTEMOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK PART 3. REVIVAL OF TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS AND AFRICAN RENAISSANCE

122 THE HISTORY OF AFRICANS AND PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT SINCE THE CONTACT BETWEEN EUROPE AND AFRICA OVER THE LAST 5OO YEARS

Why Affirmative Action? In an eloquent speech to the graduating class at Howard University, President Johnson defined clearly the concept underlying affirmative action: “You do not wipe away the scars of centuries of slavery by saying: ‘now, you are free to go where you want, do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.’ You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe you have been completely fair… This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity – Not just legal equity but human ability – not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.” www.infoplease.com/spot/affirmativetimeline1.html “Blacks have a 375-year history on this American continent:

245 involving slavery, 100 involving discrimination,

and only 30 involving anything else” (Roger Wilkins, African American Historian) “To induce the whites to abandon the opinion they have conceived of the intellectual and moral inferiority of their former slaves, the Negroes must change, but they cannot change so long as this opinion persists.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, translated by George Lawrence (New York: Anchor Books, 1969), pp.341-42. “Africans are civilized to the marrow of their bones! The idea of the barbaric Negro is a European invention.” (Leo Frobenius, German Africanist) Cited by Césaire, Aimé, Discourse on Colonialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972); p.32. “Undoubtedly prompted by the demon of literature, the ethnographers who tell us of African trances emphasize their brutality. But African mysticism has its nuances, half-tones, and melodic lines. Among the Yoruba and Fon there is an entire civilization of spirituality comparable to that of the wood carvings and bronzes of Benin.” Bastide, R., Le Candomblé de Bahia, cited by Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press); p.126. “African wisdom is not merely a convenient expression; it is something that exists. It is a collection of unique precepts that enable the people of traditional Africa to settle as harmoniously as possible the disputes that mar human relationships.”

123 Balandier, Georges and Maquet, Jacques, Dictionary of Black African Civilization. (New York: Leon Amiel, ); p.336. BEYOND COLONIALISM; AFRICAN RENAISSANCE, MULTICULTURALISM AND THE REVIVAL OF TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS THE RECENT REVIVAL OF INDIGENOUS RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD and THE LONG PATH TOWARD INCLUSION AND MULTICULTURALISM IN THE US 1500-1950: Europe colonizes the world and imposes Christianity; Christianity then promoted the persecution of non-Christian religions defined as false and evil Satanism or paganism. 1930: Stalin begins Soviet repression of shamans in Siberia and in their satellite, outer Mongolia, that last until 1989 1950: People’s Republic of China labels shamanism as “superstition” and represses spirit mediums of all sorts across China 1950-2010: Revival of non-Christian/indigenous religions (after 500 years of persecution). The spiritual values of indigenous religions are acknowledged, and many people begin to return to these religions, especially those interested in the ecology and in women’s rights HISTORY OF THE REVIVAL OF INDIGENOUS/TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS 1945: UN Charter promotes decolonization 1948: UN declaration of human rights (especially the freedom of people to practice any religion, and rejection of religious persecution) 1950-1970: independence of Africa and Asia; Civil rights movement in the US; Rise of indigenous people 1951: the last law against Witchcraft repealed in England. 1965: Council Vatican II (the Catholic churches abandons the old exclusivist Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ideology and acknowledges other religions; since then the Church has actively promoted interreligious dialogue) 1970-2000: De-Westernization of Christianity, birth of a new types of Christianity shaped by traditional religions and birth of new Christian theologies: Feminist theology inspired by traditional Goddess spirituality, African theology, Latin American theologies, Asian theologies, Native American theology and rise of interreligious dialogue paradigm that supports religious pluralism 1986: in the encyclical on the Holy Spirit “Dominum et Vivificantem” (18 May 1986), pope John Paul II articulated explicitly the doctrine of “universal activity of the Holy Spirit before the time of Christian dispensation and today outside the Church.”

Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; p.176

124 1986: in a discourse to the members of the Roman Curia (December 22), in explaining the meaning of the Assisi meeting with members of different religions for the WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR PEACE (21 October 1986) as a continuation of the spirit of Vatican II, the Pope spoke more clearly than any of the Vatican II council documents on the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the religious life of the members of other religious traditions. Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.

Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; p.175 1990: Pope John-Paul II explicitly proclaims that the Spirit of God works not only within Christianity or the Catholic Church, but also outside, in individuals, cultures and other religious traditions (Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, 7 December 1990):

“The Spirit manifests himself in a special way in the Church and her members. Nevertheless, his presence and activity are universal, limited neither by space nor time… The Spirit… is at the very source of the human person’s existential and religious questioning which is occasioned not only by contingent situations but by the very structure of its being. The Spirit’s presence and activity affect not only individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions.” Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; pp.176-177

1990: the Catholic theologian Schillebeeckx proclaims: “even in the Christian self-understanding the multiplicity of religions is not an evil which needs to be removed, but rather a wealth which is to be welcomed and enjoyed by all… The unity, identity and uniqueness of Christianity over against the other religions… lies in the fact that Christianity is a religion which associates relationship to God with a historical and thus a very specific and therefore limited particularity: Jesus of Nazareth. This is the uniqueness and identity of Christianity, but at the same time its unavoidable historical limitation. It becomes clear here that … the God of Jesus is a symbol of openness, not of closedness. Here Christianity has a positive relationship to other religions, but at the same time its uniqueness is nevertheless maintained, and ultimately at the same time the loyal Christian affirmation of the positive nature of other world religions is honoured.” Edward Schillebeeckx, Church: The Human Story of God (London: SCM Press, 1990), p.167

Cited in Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; pp.386-387. 1997: Jacques Dupuis (Catholic, Jesuit theologian) proclaims: “On what foundation, then, can the affirmation of a religious pluralism ‘of principle,’ or de jure, be made to rest? I did affirm that the faith in a plurality of persons in the one God is in itself no sufficient foundation for religious pluralism…. If, however, religion has its original source in a divine self-manifestation to human beings, as we have shown, the principle of plurality will be made to rest primarily on the superabundant richness and diversity of God’s self-manifestations to humankind. The divine plan for humanity is one, but multifaceted. That God spoke ‘in many and various ways’ before speaking through his son (Heb 1:1) is not incidental; nor is the plural character of God’s self-manifestation merely a thing of the past. For the decisiveness of the Son’s advent in the flesh in Jesus Christ does not cancel the universal presence and action of the Word and the Spirit. Religious pluralism in principle rests on the immensity of a God who is love.”

Jacques Dupuis, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism.Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001; p.387. (I quote the edition of 2001, but the book was first published in 1997)

125 1973: the government of Iceland officially recognizes Neo-pagan religions. 1978: Native American religion becomes legal in the U.S. when the Freedom of Religion Act was passed by the US Congress 1986 and 1990: Pope John Paul II recognizes officially that the Spirit of the one true God works also outside Christianity, in individuals, societies and other religions 1992: A Supreme Court decision recognizes the right of Santeria to perform animal sacrifices in Florida (USA) 1993: proclaimed by the United Nations "International Year of the World's Indigenous People" by the United Nations (UN Resolution 45/164). 1993-2003: Decade of Indigenous people (9 August proclaimed in 1994 "International Day of the World's Indigenous People" ) 1994: Pope John-Paul II officially recognizes the values and dignity of African traditional religions (during the African Synod held in Rome) 1996: Official recognition of Voodoo in Benin 1996: Official recognition of Neo-pagan religions in Norway (in 1996 and in1999) 2003: Official recognition of Voodoo in Haiti and of Neo-pagan religions in Denmark 2010: Druidism officially recognized in England (UK) The transformation of the American society and the impact of 3 major wars: World War I (1914-1918), WWII (1917-1946), Vietnam War (1950-1970) MULTICULTURALISM AND US CITIZENSHIP 1917:Puerto Ricans granted US citizenship 1920: Women gain the right to vote 1923: US citizenship granted to Asian Indians 1924: full citizenship granted to all Native Americans, but many Western states refuse to allow them to vote (=>1978: the Religious Freedom Act promises to protect and preserve for Native Americans freedom to believe, express, and exercise traditional religions, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonial and traditional rites) (=> 2004: Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian opens in Washington, DC) 1943: Chinese Exclusion Act repealed, making immigrants of Chinese ancestry eligible for citizenship 1946: Filipinos eligible for citizenship 1954-1974: struggle for the inclusion of African Americans 1957: the US Congress passes the Voting Rights Act for African Americans 1500-1950: persecution of non-Christian religions

126 1950-2010: Revival of non- Christian/indigenous religions (after 500 years of persecution) DISCOVERY: 15th-16th century: Europe’s “discovery” of Africa and the Americas 1482: Congo River “discovered” by the Portuguese Diego Cao 1492: Columbus “discovers” America 1500-1550: Inca, Maya and Aztec empires destroyed by Spain 1588: Spanish Armada defeated by the British 1607: English colony established in Virginia 1650-1850: Occupation of the US territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific (200 years) (1803: Louisiana purchase; 1846-48: Mexican War: Anglo-Saxon expansionism) 18th century (1776): Birth of the US as a Nation 19th century (1800-1850): Birth of Latin American Nations (independence from Spain) (1830-1890: Slavery abolished, after the Haitian revolution of 1791-1803

(1850-1950: Golden Age of European colonialism in Africa and Asia) SLAVE TRADE (17th-19th century): Almost 300 YEARS(Colonialism: 100 years) 1441: The first African slaves are transported to Portugal. c. 1517 Black plantation slavery begins in the New World when Spaniards begin importing slaves from Africa to replace Native Americans who died from harsh working conditions and exposure to Old World diseases to which they had no immunity. 1562: Three hundred slaves are obtained by the British and taken to Hispaniola (later Haiti and the Dominican Republic). 1565: The Spanish take slaves to St. Augustine, the first permanent settlement in what would later be the state of Florida. IN THE US 1607: English colony established in Virginia 1618/1619: First enslaved Africans (20 people) brought to America (in Jamestown, in Virginia) aboard a Dutch ship. 1638: First African slaves arrive in Massachusetts 1660-1700: Africans begin to replace Native American slaves and White indentured servants From the 1660s: laws regulate slavery, and establish that children born from slaves are slaves for life. 1664: Black-White marriages outlawed 1665-1865: 200 years of intensive African slavery in the US 1707 A South African census lists 1,779 Dutch settlers owning 1,107 slaves. 1735 Carolus Linnaeus begins his classification of all then-known animal forms, ultimately including humans with primates and providing a model for modern racial classification.

127 1859: Darwin publishes “The origin of species” 1865-1965: Slavery abolished in 1865, but replaced by Segregation laws or institutionalized racism or “White Supremacy” (Jim Crow: “Separate but Equal”) 1950-1980 / 1980-2010: African Renaissance (last 30 years)

ABOLITION AND COLONIALISM 1776: the very year in which he wrote the US Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson also formulated a proposal for the African colonization of American blacks. Although he deplored slavery, Jefferson remained a slaveholder who believed in the absolute inferiority of blacks. Hence he maintained that once emancipated, black Americans had to be returned back to Africa leaving the US to whites only. Abraham Lincoln himself embraced this idea and was for years a “colonizationist.” (Most of the Founding Fathers were large-scale slaveholders as were 8 of the first 12 Presidents of the United States!) 1816: a group of Presbyterian ministered founded in Washington, DC, the “American colonization Society” (ACS) with a goal to encourage free blacks to immigrate to Africa. 1821: ACS purchased a colony christened LIBERIA, and during the 19th century the ACS sent an estimated 12,000 to 20,000 African Americans to Africa. 1846: Frederick Douglass launches his abolitionist newspaper. 1849:Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad. 1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel,Uncle Tom's Cabin is published. It becomes one of the most influential works to stir anti-slavery sentiments. 1857: The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens. 1863: A century after the Independence of the US, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation (issued in 1862, but to take effect in 1863) declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate states "are, and henceforward shall be free." 1865: The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolishes slavery. The same year Nathan B. Forrest (a former Confederate general) organizes the Ku Klux Klan 1866: The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution establishes the citizenship of anyone born in the US, including African Americans 1870: The 15th Amendment prohibits federal and state governments from infringing on a citizen’s right to vote based on “race, color, or previous conditions of servitude.” HISTORY OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION 1883: the US Supreme Court declares the “Civil Rights Act of 1875” unconstitutional 1896 - 1954: 1896: Supreme Court upholds “Separate but equal” doctrine in “Plessy versus Ferguson.” Hence the Court sanctioned segregation as the law of the land by affirming the constitutionality and hence establishing the legitimacy of the Louisiana’s Jim Crow Law.

128 Jim Crow Law established the principle of “equal but separate accommodations for whites and colored races” in public facilities. Jim Crow’s segregation law remained in force and governed the US for 58 years until 1954. 1954-1974: Civil Rights Movement 1954: “Separate but equal” doctrine rejected as invalid by the US Supreme Court decision in “Brown versus Topeka Board of Education.” (Schools must be integrated) 1955: Bus boycott after the Rosa Park incident 1956: the Supreme Court rules that segregation on public buses is illegal 1957: the US Congress passes the Voting Rights Act. This was the first civil rights legislation to pass Congress since the end of Reconstruction. It was aimed at ending the barriers created to stop Blacks from voting, in the South. 1961 (March 6): Pdt John F. Kennedy issued the executive order 10925 which inaugurated the Government’s policy to redress racial inequities in employment opportunities. 1963: Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job The same year (1963): Martin Luther King’s March on Washington (“I have a Dream” Speech) 1964: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex. It also establishes the Equal Employment opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate complaints and impose penalties 1965 (September 24): Affirmative Action: Noting that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, Pdt Lyndon Johnson issued his Executive Order 11246 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, and national origin, but not sex. This Order enforced affirmative action for the first time. (Malcolm X assassinated the same year; Martin Luther King will be assassinated in 1968, and in 1986 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday becomes a national holiday in the United States) 1967: the Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. 16 states that still banned interracial marriage at that time are forced to revise their laws.

(1664: Black-White marriages outlawed; for 300 years!) 1973: Affirmative Action for women: Pdt Richard Nixon, in his Executive Order 11375 amended Johnson’s order by including sex as a protected class. The same year (1973): as a result of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court establishes a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states.(1960: the Pill enters the market and shapes the life of women) 1974: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in consumer credit practices on the basis of sex, race, marital status, religion, national origin, age, or receipt of public assistance. 1976: the first marital rape law is enacted in Nebraska, making it illegal for a husband to rape his wife. AFRICAN RENAISSANCE The Independence of African countries and the Civil Rights Movement in the US enable the African people in Africa and in the US to emerge on the international stage and flourish in society as scientists, intellectuals, politicians, etc 1970-2010: 40 years of Minorities Studies Departments (Multicultural education)

129 * 1988: Temple University in Philadelphia becomes the first university to offer the doctorate degree in African American studies. 1973-1993: Tom Bradley (African American) Mayor of Los Angeles for 20 years. * 1974-1987: Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow (Senegal), Director-General of UNESCO. 1976 Congressman Andrew Young of Georgia becomes the first African American U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. 1977: Alex Haley's Roots: The Saga of an American Family (1976) is adapted for television, becoming one of the most popular shows in the history of American television. 1978: Raboteau, Albert J., Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. (New York: Oxford University Press) 1978: Marion Barry elected mayor of Washington DC. He will serve 3 terms. 1983 Writer Alice Walker receives the Pulitzer Prize for The Color Purple. 1983: Harold Washington wins the Democratic nomination and is elected the first African American mayor of Chicago. 1983 Civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson announces his intention to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, becoming the first African American man to make a serious bid for the presidency. 1983: Guion Bluford, Jr., becomes the first African American in space as a member of the crew of the space shuttle Challenger. * 1984 The Cosby Show, starring comedian Bill Cosby, becomes one of the most popular situation comedies in television history and is praised for its broad cross-cultural appeal and avoidance of racial stereotypes. * 1984: Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize. 1985 The Israeli government publicly confirms rumours that some 10,000 Ethiopian Jews (Falasha) have been secretly resettled in Israel beginning in 1977. 1986 Established by legislation in 1983, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day is first celebrated as a U.S. national holiday. * 1986: WOLE SOYINKA (Nigeria, Nobel Prize, Literature) 1986: Ronald McNair (an MIT physicist) was the second African-American astronaut to orbit the Earth. He flew on the Space Shuttle Challenger in February 1984 and was killed in 1986 in another challenger flight with six other astronauts. 1986: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday becomes a national holiday in the United States 1987: Colin Powell , Security Advisor to the US President * 1988: Temple University in Philadelphia becomes the first university to offer the doctorate degree in African American studies. 1988: Toni Morrison wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel “Beloved.” 1989-1993: Colin Powell (son of Jamaican immigrants), first African American to serve as Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense.

130 1989: David Dinkins becomes the first African American elected mayor of New York City, and Douglas Wilder of Virginia becomes the first African American elected to a governorship 1991: Judge Clarence Thomas appointed to the Supreme Court by George Bush, Sr. 1991: With much fanfare, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is appointed W.E.B. Du Bois professor of humanities at Harvard University, where he proceeds to build the university's Department of Afro-American Studies. 1992: Mae Jemison becomes the first African American woman astronaut, spending more than a week orbiting Earth in the space shuttle Endeavour. 1992 Carol Moseley Braun becomes the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Senate, representing the state of Illinois. 1993 Poet Maya Angelou, author of the autobiographical work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970), composes and delivers a poem for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. 1993 Cornel West, progressive postmodern philosopher, finds a mainstream audience with the publication of his text Race Matters, which closely examines the black community around the time of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. 1993 Poet Rita Dove, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Thomas and Beulah, is chosen as poet laureate of the United States. * 1993: Toni Morrison: Nobel Prize winner (literature) and Mandela Nobel Peace Prize. 1993 Joycelyn Elders becomes the first African American woman to serve as the U.S. surgeon general. 1993: proclaimed the "International Year of the World's Indigenous People" (by the UN) 1993-1999: African and African American Bibles in the 1990s 1993: The Original African Heritage Study Bible (1st edition) 1994: Nelson Mandela elected President of South Africa (1994-1999)(end of apartheid regime) 1994: Pope John-Paul II officially recognizes the values and dignity of African traditional religions (during the African Synod held in Rome) 1995: Holy Bible. African American Jubilee Edition 1996: Official recognition of Voodoo in Benin and of Neo-pagan religions in Norway (1996 and 1999) 2003: Official recognition of Voodoo in Haiti and of Neo-pagan religions in Denmark 1999: The African Bible (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa) 1997: Tiger Woods becomes the first African American golfer to win the Masters Tournament. * 1997-2007: Kofi Atta Annan (a Ghanaian diplomat) served as the seventh Secretary- General of the United Nations from 1 January 1997 to 1 January 2007. 2000: Tennis player Venus Williams becomes the first African American woman since Althea Gibson (1958) to win the singles championship at Wimbledon. Later in the year she becomes the first African American woman to win a gold medal in singles and doubles tennis at the same Olympic Games.

131 2001: General Colin Powell becomes the first African American to serve as U.S. secretary of state. He was also the first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–93). 2001 Condoleezza Rice is named national security adviser, becoming the first woman and second African American to hold this position. Concurrently, Roderick Paige is named secretary of education and is the first African American to hold this position. 2001: Bishop Wilton Gregory becomes the first African American to be elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2001: Kofi Annan (from Ghana) and the United Nations were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. 2004: Wangari Maathai (Kenyan woman): Peace Nobel Prize 2004 Barack Obama becomes the third African American to be elected to the U.S. Senate after Reconstruction. 2005: Condoleezza Rice succeeds Colin Powell as U.S. secretary of state, becoming the first African American woman to hold the post. 2006: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is inaugurated as Liberia's first woman president. * 2008: Barack Obama (son of a Kenyan father) elected US President (November 4th 2008), at the age of 47. He was born in 1961 (August 4th) in Honolulu (Hawai) Part 4. REVISITING THE SOURCES OF KNOWLEDGE SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS Critical thinking is indispensable for a genuine understanding of African traditional religions. It is first worth noting that knowledge is power. Those who have power produce ideas that contribute to the domination of other people. Most ideas of African traditional religions as “ideas of the Western ruling class.” Their goal is not to produce understanding, but to domesticate the mind of the “colonized people.” Indeed, “the ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e., the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas; hence of the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance.” (Karl Marx, The German Ideology, part.I)

132 In this context, a better understanding of African traditional religions requires the awareness that many scholars, shaped by ethnocentrism, patriotism and the will to power have produced some of the most ridiculous ideas about African religions and African people in general. What Heidegger and Kant said about critical thinking is worth meditating here: “What is most thought provoking in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking. We are still not thinking, although the state of the world is becoming constantly more thought-provoking… It is hard to suppress a certain disgust when contemplating men’s action upon the world stage. For one finds, in spite of apparent wisdom in detail that everything, taken as a whole, is interwoven with stupidity, childish vanity, often with childish viciousness and destructiveness. In the end, one does not know what kind of conception one should have of our species which is so conceited about its superior qualities.” (Martin Heidegger, Was Heisst Denken? and Immanuel Kant, Idea for a Universal History with Cosmopolitan Intent, 1784. in Carl J. Friedrich, The Philosophy of Kant. Immanuel Kant’s Moral and Political Writings. New York: The Modern Library, 1993; p.129). It is worth noting that almost 90 percent of works published on African traditional religions are not written by people who practise those religions, but rather by agnostics, Christians, and Muslims who do not take these religions seriously. 2. SOURCE OF VALID KNOWLEDGE ABOUT AFRICA From “Paganism, Polytheism, Fetichism, Magic, and Witchcraft” to Authentic Religion Our knowledge about African traditional religions and indigenous religions in general has been improved thanks to

1. The end of European colonialism and the independence of African countries (Consequence: European scholars can no longer totally control the production of knowledge about Africa and be the only ones speaking for Africans)

2. The Pschological trauma of World War II challenged the old colonialist dogma of European moral superiority and the superiority of European civilization. Some Europeans turned to primitive people to learn some “wisdom of good life.”

3. Christianity lost its spiritual credibility due to the support given by various Christian churches, theologians and religious leaders to slave trade, colonialism, imperialism, third-world dictators, apartheid regime in South Africa, Segregation, racism, and Christian sexist opposition to the ordination of women and to feminism in general.

4. The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (and the UN support for indigenous peoples and indigenous cultures) challenged the very foundation of colonialism and racist ideologies.

5. Interreligious dialogue paradigm: Christian attitude toward “pagan” religions changed thanks to Second Vatican Council and publications by Christian theologians supporting interreligious dialogue

6. Civil rights movement, the creation of ethnic studies and the movement of multicultural education in the US

7. The search for identity among Diaspora people facing constant racism and exclusion despite their effort to assimilate

8. Sexism, individualism, the pollution crisis and the crisis of modern medicine and expansive healthcare systems push people to turn to indigenous religions which

133 recognize goddesses and priestesses, insist on the sense of community, and developed a philosophy of living in harmony with nature, and a philosophy of holistic healing

9. Some German, Swiss, and French Biblicists and Egyptologists have clarified the African origin of Monotheism, human rights and democratic ideals, as well as the contribution of Africa to the Bible, to Judaism , to Christianity and to the very Greek philosophy and Democratic ideals that play a crucial role in Christian theology (see Serge Sauneron, Jan Assmann, Othmar Keel, and Erik Hornung)

10. Pope Paul VI and Paul John Paul II have recognized the dignity and spiritual values of African traditional religions and the contribution of Africa to the birth of Christianity (spirituality and theology).

Producers of ATR knowledge

1. European explorers, travelers, tourists, 2. European novelists (writers of fiction) and Western movie industry 3. European colonial administrators 4. Western anthropologists 5. Western scholars of comparative religions 6. Western Christian theologians and missionaries 7. Western historians/Africanists 8. Western Philosophers 9. African anthropologists, Sociologists and Historians 10. African theologians and African philosophers (most of them Christian)

Pitfalls

- 1. Christian/monotheistic bias - 2. Dogma of modernity (evolution, progress, civilization away from primitivism) - 3. Secular bias (agnosticism) - 4. Libido dominandi or Superiority complex (blindness generated by colonial

and racist prejudice, modern cities > < village people, prejudice stemming from wealth, technology and science)

- 5. “Looking glass” bias: Psychological trauma (using Africa to feel good about oneself, to solve one’s own psychological problems, weaknesses or guilt)

- 6. Patriotic bias (Nationalism) - 7. Classism (prejudice against the poor) - 8. Intellectual racism - 9. Ignorance coupled with arrogance - 10. Rationalization of oppression and exploitation in a world shaped by the

global market TEN PLAGUES THAT DISTORT RELIGION IN GENERAL “Normally persons talk about other people’s religions as they are, and about their own as it ought to be.” (Wilfred Cantwell Smith, 1962). “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”

134 (Henry Wadsworth longfellow) TEN EPISTEMOLOGICAL PLAGUES Grave Danger to World Peace is produced by Pseudo-Religiosity. There are 10 major plagues that foster religious prejudices and hinder the development of a genuine spiritual mindset and our ability to have an accurate knowledge of world religions. These plagues stems essentially from LIBIDO DOMINANDI and use 1) the concepts of

- REVELATION - CIVILIZATION

2) two major theological and ethnocentric ideologies of power: - Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus - Theology of Election

3) And 3 strategies - Cult of difference and “uniqueness” mythologies - Binarism (dualistic thinking) - Sheer intellectual laziness and blindness masquerading as “superiority complex.”

THE TEN EPISTEMOLOGICAL PLAGUES ARE: 1. IGNORANCE 2. ARROGANCE (OF FAITH), RELIGIOUS LIBIDO DOMINANDI (==> “Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus” and “civilizing mission” ideology) 3. FEAR, Anxiety 4. “Savoir-Avoir-Pouvoir” 5. Epistemic violence, intellectual terrorism, theological terrorism (violent thought patterns) 6. PHILAUTIA, Anthropomorphism, Ethnocentrism, Egocentrism,Individualism (==> Theology of Election) 7. Racism, Sexism, Classism 8. Nationalism, Patriotism, Militarism, Capitalism, Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism, and Imperialism 9. Fideism, Fundamentalism and Fanaticism 10. Positivism/Secularism/Modernism/Darwinism (Scientism, Rationalism, Materialism, Atheism): Scientific blindness, scientific idolatry 1. Ignorance: This type of plague includes 1)Lack of knowledge about one’s own religious tradition and about other religious traditions. 2) The possession of a false or distorted knowledge about the religion of others. This knowledge and ignorance lead to violent ways of thinking about others: It turns others into violent monsters who are the enemies of God. • Ignorance and distortion of other religions and cultures ( the “invention of the

Primitives”)

135 2. Arrogance (of faith) => Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (Religious Arrogance, delusional self-worship) => Psychotic libido dominandi 3. Fear, anxiety, inferiority complex masquerading as superiority complex 4. “Savoir-Avoir-Pouvoir” 5. Epistemic violence, intellectual terrorism, religious or theological terrorism: violent theories that mock and belittle other cultures and religions and exclude them as enemies of God or devil worship 6. Anthropomorphism, Ethnocentrism, Egocentrism,Individualism => A man-made God (anthropomorphism) => RELIGIOUS ETHNOCENTRISM(IDOLA TRIBUS, IDOLA SPECUS, PHILAUTIA, DISORDERLY SELF-LOVE, SELFISHNESS). ¨- 1. Uniqueness ideologies, cult of “difference.” ¨- 2. Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus ¨- 3. Theology of Election nDelusional ideology of uniqueness nRevelation (as a paradigm of exclusion and Domination) nExclusivist mentality that uses God as one’s private property (one chosen people favored by God above the whole humanity, one truth, one true religion with high moral standards, one way of salvation). nSelf-promotion to the status of “Chosen People.” ¨- 4. REVELATION >< Man-made religions ¨- 5. Missionary Zeal ¨- 6. CIVILIZING MISSION IDEOLOGY ( DE VERA RELIGIONE, 3 C’S DOCTRINE) 7. Racism, Sexism, Classism 8. Nationalism, Patriotism, Militarism, Capitalism, Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism, and Imperialism => Here religion builds a theology of conquest and domination at the service of Greed, political and economic interests and cultural hegemony. It promotes ¨ Religious Patriotism, Nationalism, Jingoism, ¨Militarism(warrior mentality, God against our enemies) ¨Colonialism, Imperialism ¨Capitalism (Market theology (“In Gold We Trust as in God we Trust”) n=>This is a Civil Religion or Patriotic religion ¨It worships the nation, ¨ its economic interests ¨Its military success ¨ and national security. (even when this means insecurity for others). 9. Fideism, Fundamentalism and Fanaticism 10. Secularism (Scientism, Rationalism, Materialism, Atheism) “L’homme est la mesure de toute chose.” Twelve Epistemological pillars of the destruction of “Native Religions”

136 A. An apparently innocent or positive terminology 1. Indigenous religions 2. Traditional 3. Preliterate or non-literate religions 4. Primal 5. Tribal 6. Polytheism B. More problematic and negative terms. 1. Primitive 2. Animism 3. Fetishism, 4. Vodoo, Witchcraft, Sorcery 5. Magic 6. Idolatry Graham Harvey, ed., Indigenous Religions. A Companion (London, New York:Cassell, 2000), pp.5- 9. Hegelian Epistemology: Scientific, philosophical and theological theories (Civilizing mission ideology, colonialism, Greek miracle, Eurocentrism, Racism,

Democracy) 10 EPISTEMOLOGICAL PLAGUES Key religious Rootcauses Key scientific, philosophical Concepts/theories of prejudice and theological theories 1.DEUS OTIOSUS/ 1. Ignorance 1. Calore-colore theory Polytheism (Anti-thesis of Monotheism) 2. Idolatry 2. Arrogance 2. IQ studies (Paganism/Heathenism) 3. Animism 3. Libido Dominandi 3. Civilization, modernity, Progress (Totemism, Zoolatry) - 1. Writing (><oral tradition) - 2. Urbanism - 3. Democracy - 4. Science and technology - 5. Linguistic superiority - 6. Capitalism (Material prosperity) 4. Ancestor worship 4. Ethnocentrism 4. Grand dichotomy Narcissism Levy-Bruhlism, Self-referential epistemology Binarism, Dualism, Us versus them

137 Logic of exclusion 5. Primitivism 5. Racism 5. Essentialism (ignorant, brutish, uncivilized) 6. Tribalism 6. Sexism 6. Social Darwinism (tribal religion: tribal morality) (Theory of Evolution) (Lack of the concept of universality: God of all, universal brotherhood) 7. Fetishism 7. Classism 7. Foreign stimulus ideology (Magic, Witchcraft, Sorcery) (Diffusionism) 8. Shamanism 8. Psychosis 8. Rationality (Witch doctors) Psychological insecurity Fear, anxiety Inferiority complex 9. Ritualism/Materialism 9. Patriotism 9. Poverty Nationalism, Jingoism 10. ANAMARTESIS 10. Colonialism 10. Revelation/Monotheism - Sexuality (Polygamy) Imperialism (Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus) - Polygamy - pictures of naked tribes - Violence (Circumcision)

ð False and evil religions ð Religions of error, terror and horror ð False God: they worship humans (ancestors), animals, trees, rocks

ETHNOCENTRISM Scholarship shaped by the following theories: 1. Eurocentrism 11. Diffusionism 2. Colonialism 12. Foreign stimulus 3. Racism 13. Dualism; Grand Dichotomy

( and Cult of difference) 4. Classism 14. Civilizing Mission/Huntingtonism (3 C’s doctrine; Clash of civilization) “Third World countries” category 5. Greek miracle 15.Calore-Colore (European miracle) and Violence and Criminal justice theories

138 6. Hegelianism 16. IQ studies (Hegelian Paradigm)

7. Darwinism 17. Reason and Language (Theory of evolution/progress) (Linguistic superioty/poverty) 8. Monotheism><Polytheism 18. Revelation (Deus otiosus, Idolatry, Paganism) (>< man-made religions) (Animism, Ancestor worship) 9. Decalogue/ethical monotheism 19. Individualism (Anamartesis>< high moral standards) (>< collectivism/communism) 10. Feminism and polygamy, sexuality 20. Patriotism/Nationalism (Barbie doll esthetic trope) (Democracy, Human Rights) EUROCENTRIC SCHOLARSHIP IS BASED ON TEN MAJOR MYTHOLOGIES

10 key disciplines that produce these mythologies 10 governing concepts 10 key theories

TEN KEY DISCIPLINES (FROM SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION) 1. Religion:

* Christian Theology (Soteriology and Christology) * Biblical Studies * Religious Studies * Missiology

2. Philosophy 3. Science (IQ Studies, Science of racial taxonomies) 4. Anthropology 5. Sociology 6. History 7. Geography (the influence of the environment on people) 8. Criminal Justice 9. Psychology 10. Political Science and Economics (Political Economy): theories of development and

democracy TEN GOVERNING CONCEPTS

139 1. Land (climate, environment: geographic determinism) 2. Race 3. Intelligence (IQ theories) 4. Reason (rationality > < irrationality) 5. Civilization 6. Democracy 7. Nation (the character of nations) 8. Moral values (Ethical standards): mainly violence and sexuality 9. Religion (Concepts of revelation and idolatry

notion of true religion or “high” religion) 10. Prosperity (versus Poverty) TEN KEY THEORIES (of THE CIVILIZION MISSION IDEOLOGY) 1. Hellenism (Greek miracle ideology) 2. Hegelianism (World History) 3. Aristotelianism (“Calore-Colore” paradigm) 4. Huntingtonism (clash of civilizations theory) 5. Levy-Bruhlism (Grand Dichotomy: Primitive mind > < Civilized mind) 6. Kiplingism (the Burden of the White Man) or the 3 C’s doctrine of David Livingstone 7. Darwinism/Evolutionism and the theory of Progress or development 8. Diffusionism and Foreign stimulus ideology 9. “IQ” theories 10. Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (and Deus Otiosus, Animism, Paganism) Our knowledge of African Traditional Religions comes largely from

1. Western anthropologists and scholars of religions (most of them secular or agnostic) who did not take religion, including Christianity, seriously. They do not believe in the existence of God, Spirits and the Afterlife. So they focus on rituals, for they see religion as merely a product of society. They approach the study of African traditional religion with the preconceived conviction that religious beliefs are merely a “farrago of savage fancies” and see in religious claims, practices and worldviews merely a quaint foolishness engendered by the fogs of superstition, illusion, and irrationality. Moreover they use African traditional religions to attack Christianity, in so doing they do not provide an objective portrayal of ATR.

2. Christian theologians and Missionaries (Western and African) who begin their study with faith in the superiority of Christianity and the superiority of European civilization. Because they want to stress the uniqueness of Christianity, they begin

140 with the conviction that Christianity has nothing in common with traditional religions. So they overlook key points of similarity between these religions. Marginal and exotic elements of traditional religions are presented as the essence of African religion.

ANTHROPOLOGISTS “To many anthropologists of the nineteenth century, Professor Evans-Pritchard has lately written, ‘religious belief was …absurd, and it is so to most anthropologists of yesterday and today… as a result says professor Evans-Pritchard, ‘most of what has been written in the past, and with some assurance, and is still trotted out in colleges and universities, about animism, totemism, magic, etc, has been shown to be erroneous or at least dubious’ by investigators working from another standpoint and in greater possession of the facts. (This means that many important scholars have articulated theories that have proven to be false, theories that fostered misunderstanding rather than understanding of the true nature of African traditional religions)” Davidson, Basil, The African Genius: An Introduction to African Social and Cultural History. (Boston, London: Little, Brown and Company, 1969); pp.109-110 Evans-Pritchard, the guru of British social anthropology, went through a serious soul- searching and questioned the way British anthropology was studying the societies and traditional religions of people colonized by Britain. He discovered serious methodological flaws in the way famous scholars were conducting their scholarly business. Here is the way summarized Evans-Pritchard’s conversion and critique of his fellow scholars: Evans-Pritchard’s critique of the biases affecting the study of religion is found throughout his writings; the argument was formed rather early. In the Introduction to Nuer Religion, he addresses the most basic problem:

“So strong has been rationalist influence on anthropology that religious practices are often discussed under the general heading of ritual together with a medley of rites of quite a different kind, all having in common only that the writer regards them as irrational; while religious thought tends to be inserted into a general discussion of values. Here the view is taken that religion is a subject of study sui generis, just as are language or law.”

Religion has to be studied as a system, and Evans-Pritchard stresses that the ethnographer’s religious orientation is critical, “for even in a descriptive study judgement can in no way be avoided” because those who “give assent” to religious beliefs write differently than those who do not. He cites anthropologists’ aggressive agnosticism as the cause of the fundamental skepticism encountered in the study of African religions. Most anthropologists were raised in strongly religious homes, but as adults they became atheists or agnostics for whom religion was an illusion. Why then did they persist in the study of religion? Here is what Evans- Pritchard had to say:

“They sought, and found, in primitive religions a weapon which could, they thought, be used with deadly effect against Christianity. If primitive religion could be explained away as an intellectual

141 aberration, as a mirage induced by emotional stress, or by its social function, it was implied that the higher religions could be discredited and disposed of in the same way.”

Philip M. Peek, ed., African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1991; p.7. On the “Noble Savage” Myth “Rousseau’s invention of the Noble Savage myth is itself a myth... Why has belief in a discredited theory (of Noble Savage) lingered on for seven decades after the publication of a clear disproof, particularly among anthropologists themselves? Is there something in the nature of anthropology itself, either in its intrinsic nature or in its historically contingent construction, that requires such a belief? I will suggest that there is; that not only is everything we have believed about the myth of the Noble Savage wrong, but it is so because our profession has been historically constructed in such a way as to require exactly this kind of obviously false belief... The Noble Savage (myth) was indeed associated with both the conceptual and the institutional foundations of anthropology, both before and after Rousseau’s time.” Ter Ellingson, The Myth of the Noble Savage. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001); p.4.

Western dualistic thinking and the Invention of “Noble Savage,” and “Ignoble Savage”

As Daniel Nettle and Suzanne Romaine pointed out, Western culture has thought about traditional societies in a very schizoid way. Either they have been seen as backward and morally deficient, or they have been idealized as representing something timeless, harmonious, and self-contented, which should be preserved intact. Obviously, the former of these standpoints is a way to justify dispossessing traditional societies. However, the latter standpoint is also a way of disempowering them, in that it denies them a claim to participation in economic and political progress. We must be careful in presuming that people in traditional societies were in a state of primitive harmony, contented with their lot, and would just continue in this happy state if left untouched. Traditional peoples have the same wants and needs as anyone else, and they will be quick to take a route out of the poverty and squalor that has undeniably accompanied much of human existence if they can.

Nettle, Daniel, and Romaine, Suzanne, Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); pp.153-154.

CHRISTIAN THEOLOGIANS

142

A. Dualism, dichotomy, binarism, us versus them Most Christian scholars begin with the assumption that Christianity (and monotheistic religions in general) has nothing in common with African traditional religions. A good case in point is the strange claim made recently by the American missionary Robert B. Fisher: “To conclude, West African Religious Systems are not at all comparable to Muslim-Christian models.” Fisher, Robert B., West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998), p.143. B. Alleged superiority of Christian morality Christian superiority complex has distorted even the views of some African Christian theologians who study African traditional religions. John Mbiti is a good case in point here. Mbiti carefully summarized his view of the essence of ATR in the introduction and the conclusion of his book on “African Religions and Philosophy.” As a Protestant Pastor and theologian who believes that salvation is possible only through Jesus, Mbiti concluded his famous study of African religions and philosophy with the following unequivocal disqualification not only of African traditional religions, but also of what he terms Great world religions, i.e. Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism:

It is highly doubtful that, even at their very best, these other religious systems and ideologies current in Africa are saying anything new to, and different from, what is already embedded in Christianity...I consider traditional religions, Islam and the other religious systems to be preparatory and even essential ground in the search for the Ultimate. But only Christianity has the terrible responsibility of pointing the way to the ultimate Identity, Foundation and Source of being. (p.271)

Mbiti argues that African traditional religions are inferior to Christianity because they are produced by a culture that is inferior. He based this inferiority on the concept of time and the concept of morality. According to him, African cultures are inferior because African languages lack the structure of the future and therefore the African worldview has no sense of the future, and subsequently African religions are incapable of providing a vision of hope, progress, and genuine development. Having received his academic training in England, Mbiti embraced Darwinianism. Using the framework of Darwinian evolutionary theory he mysteriously argued, against all evidence, that the notion of the future is abstent from African languages and is unknown in African worldviews. We must here focus our attention on two critical points: a) what Mbiti says about African morality and African idea of sin and b) what he says about African notion of time and its implication for African lack of a vision of progress and hope in a better future. MORALITY Explaining why he thinks Christianity to be superior, he argues that Christianity has a superior morality. Mbiti’s worse scenario is his strange interpretation of African morality. He makes the astonishing Hegelian claim that African religion has not yet reached the level of high moral standards like Christianity. In Mbiti's view African morality is not spiritual; it is rather materialistic, anthropocentric and

143 sociological:

There is almost no 'secret sin': something or someone is 'bad' or 'good' according to the outward conduct. To sleep with someone else's wife is not considered 'evil' if these two are not found out by the society which forbids it; and in other societies it is in fact an expression of friendship and hospitality to let a guest spend the night with one's wife or daughter or sister. It is not the act in itself which would be 'wrong' as such, but the relationships involved in the act: if relationships are not hurt or damaged, and if there is no discovery of breach of customs or regulation, then the act is not 'evil' or 'wicked' or 'bad.' ...Even if, as we have pointed out, God is thought to be the ultimate upholder of the moral order, people do not consider Him to be immediately involved in the keeping of it.. Therefore, the essence of African morality is that it is more 'societary' than 'spiritual'; it is a morality of 'conduct' rather than a morality of being... Murder is not evil until someone kills another person in his community.

Mbiti, John, African Religions and Philosophy; Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1990; p.208-2009. For Mbiti this lack of moral standards is due to the fact that African morality is not based on

God, but the ancestors, and that it is utilitarian and materialistic rather than spiritual:

Belief in the continuation of life after death is found in all African societies, as far as I have been able to discover. But this belief does not constitute a hope for a future and better life. To live here and now is the most important concern of African religious activities and beliefs. There is little, if any, concern with the distinctly spiritual welfare of man apart from his physical life. No line is drawn between the spiritual and the physical. Even life in the hereafter is conceived in materialistic and physical terms. There is neither paradise to be hoped for nor hell to be feared in the hereafter. The soul of man does not long for spiritual redemption, or for closer contact with God in the next world. This is an important element in traditional religions, and one which will help us to understand the concentration of African religiosity in earthly matters, with man at the centre of this religiosity. It is here also that the question of African concept of time is so important. Traditional religions and philosophy are concerned with man in past and present time. God comes into the picture as an explanation of man’s contact with time. There is no messianic hope or apocalyptic vision with God stepping in at some future moment to bring about a radical reversal of man’s normal life. God is not pictured in an ethical-spiritual relationship with man. Man’s acts of worship and turning to God are pragmatic and utilitarian rather than spiritual or mystical.”

John S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann, 1989, Second edition. (first edition in 1969); pp.4-5.

Most dramatically, he concludes his 9th chapter on “the creation and original state of man” with a statement that administers the last blow to African traditional religions:

“It would seem that the African image of the happy life is one in which God is among the people, His presence supplying them with food, shelter, peace, immortality or gift of the resurrection, and a moral code. For many peoples this is only in the golden age of the Zamani, and others have lost even the mythological sight of it. It is remarkable that out of these many myths concerning primeval man and the loss of his original state, there is not a single myth, to my knowledge, which even attempts to suggest a solution or reversal of this great loss. Man accepted the separation between him and God; and in some societies God has been ‘left’ in the distance of the Zamani, coming into the Sasa period only in times of men’s

144 crises and needs. In varying degrees the majority of African peoples (if not all) attempt to go after God in the acts of worship… We saw, however, no evidence of man seeking after God for His own sake; or of the spirit of man ‘thirsting’ after God as the pure and absolute expression of being…Would it be legitimate to suggest, perhaps, that African acts of worship are basically utilitarian, searching primarily for the lost paradise rather than for God himself? Since in these acts, people are searching for something past, something in the distant Zamani period, it follows that there cannot be myths about the future recovery of the lost paradise or reversal of the fait accompli. So long as their concept of time is two- dimensional, with a Sasa and a Zamani, African peoples cannot entertain a glorious ‘hope’ to which mankind may be destined. Relative to the people in the Sasa period, the lost paradise withdraws further into the Zamani until they lose sight of it even mythologically. Indeed this has already happened to many societies whose picture of man’s original state is ‘forgotten.’ When individuals and communities get satisfactory amounts of food, children, rain, health and prosperity, they have approached something of the original state. At such times they do not generally turn to God in the utilitarian acts of worship as much as they do when these items are at stake.Yet behind these fleeting glimpses of the original state and bliss of man, whether they are rich or shadowy, there lie the tantalizing and unattained gift of the resurrection, the loss of human immortality and the monster of death. Here African religions and philosophy must admit a defeat: they have supplied no solution. This remains the most serious cul-de-sac in the otherwise rich thought and sensitive religious feeling of our peoples. It is perhaps here then, that we find the greatest weakness and poverty of our traditional religions compared to world religions like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism. These traditional religions cannot but remain tribal and nationalistic, since they do not offer for mankind at large, a way of ‘escape’, a message of ‘redemption’ (however that might be conceived). Is it in this very issue, then, that these other religions have made a universal appeal and won adherents from all mankind? Do religions become universal only when they have been weaned from the cradle of looking towards the Zamani with all its mythological riches, and make a breakthrough towards the future with all the (mythological?) promises of ‘redemption’? Such ‘redemption’ involves rescue from the monster of death, regaining immortality and attaining the gift of the resurrection. It is in this area that world religions may hope to ‘conquer’ African traditional religions and philosophy, not so much by coercion as by adding this new element to the two-dimensional life and thinking of African peoples. Only a three-dimensional religion can hope to last in modern Africa which is increasingly discovering and adjusting to an existential, and not only potential, third dimension of time.

John S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann, 1989, Second edition. (first edition in 1969); pp96-97

Reply to Mbiti A good response to Mbiti’s distorted theory of the African notion of “time” was articulated by Newell S. Booth, Jr. See Newell S. Booth, Jr., “Time and African beliefs revisited” in Olupona, Jacob K. and Sulayman S. Nyang, eds., Religious Plurality in Africa: Essays in Honour of John Mbiti. (Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993); p.p. 83-94. The idea that Africans convert to Christianity because Christianity offers them superior moral and spiritual values not found in African traditional religions is false. Mbiti’s claim that African traditional religions lack the category of universality is strange to say the least. It is certainly not supported by evidence. We do have prayers, proverbs and a vision of hospitality

145 that extends compassion and love to all human beings, beyond family, clan, tribe, country or race. The idea of a universal God father is clearly stated in various African creation myths. Now it is proven that people convert precisely because they find tremendous similarities between Christianity and traditional religions, and therefore see Christianity as just another form of Ancestral spirituality. Once Christianity was no longer supported by the force of colonial powers, many Africans have turned back to Ancestral spirituality and do now Africanize Western Christianity. Millions of people now belong to Independent churches that mix Christianity and African traditional religions. To many scholars, it now appears that Africans did not really convert to Christianity. They simply continued their traditional spirituality in a new way. As for the issue of morality, Mbiti presents a simplified picture which overlooks many problematic moral teachings presented in the Bible as the will of God and various positive values expressed in African traditional religions in countless proverbs and traditional wisdom teachings. Mbiti compares positive values of Christianity not to positive values of African traditional religions, but rather to selected problematic behaviour of some people. His view of African tradition is in some cases a pure fiction, a “manufactured barbarism.” CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT MEAN REJECTION OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS: In the brief span of eighty-five years Africa’s Christian population has risen from about 10 million, or 9.2 percent of the population, to 237 million, and by the turn of the century, it is expected to reach 350 million, or about 50 percent, making it the missionary success story of all time. Yet there are indications that conversions to the Christian churches, especially the “mission-founder” churches, are tapering off. Neither “the prognosis of the World Missionary Conference of Edinburgh (1910) concerning the so-called primitive peoples” that “most of these peoples will have lost their ancient faiths within a generation, and will accept that culture-religion with which they first come into contact” nor the prediction of Roland Oliver, who, using the geometrical conversion progressions of South-of-the-Sahara Africa beginning in 1912, said that by 1992 there will not be a “pagan” left, has hardly come true. “Despite vast numbers of conversions from their ranks to Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, the absolute numbers of tribal religionists including shamanists have increased markedly and regularly in many countries from 1900-1980. There are some indicators that Christians are leaving the churches for traditional religions. And the dramatic increases in the close-to- traditional independent churches are, for the most part, due to the defections from the mission-founded churches, not traditional religions. If we ask why the numbers of traditional religionists are increasing or why Christians are leaving the mission churches for churches more closely resembling the traditional patterns, the answer that immediately comes to mind is the contemporary search for identity and cultural authenticity. But there is also and increasing hot debate going on as to whether or not there ever was a religious conversion of any consequence. The question of Christianity’s religious impact on traditional African religions is a thorny problem and a hotly debated issue today. Robin Horton (1971, 1975a, 1975b) has put forward the theory that neither of the two “world” religions is responsible for a recent change in focus from lesser gods to a commitment in Africa to the Supreme Being. Rather, he states, it would have happened anyway as a natural result of a widening of the political, economic, and cultural frontiers of African societies. In my opinion Horton’s opponents have rightly stressed that African societies have in fact always been aware of the “High God" and called upon Him when occasion demanded (e.g., times of territorial crisis). In this chapter I stress that there must be a distinction made between cultural and religious conversion. Missionaries have tended to conflate the two while Africans have been highly

146 selective. Thus, from the Africans’ religious or problem-solving perspective, conversion to Christianity may mean very little or no change. Jon P. Kirby, “Cultural Change and Religious Conversion in West Africa” in Thomas D. Blakely, et al., eds., Religion in Africa.Experience and Expression( London: James Currey, 1994); pp.57-58. UNIVERSALITY OF SOME AFRICAN RELIGIONS “To many Christian apologists, the spread of Christianity, the inability of traditional gods to halt its spread, were the most convincing proof of its truth. Many individuals were converted by the courage of the martyrs, and women often played a key role in converting the households to Christianity. Christianity empowered the disinherited, though some women came to feel alienated from Christianity and identified with ‘heretical’ cults…In an enormously influential hypothesis, Horton has suggested that peoples are attracted to world religions when they come into contact with a wider world, that the traditional religions are profoundly rooted in a particular locality and when individuals find themselves in a cosmopolitan environment, these local divinities seem less appropriate.This model has been used internationally, and, within Africa, it suggests a convincing reason for many conversions, both to Christianity and to Islam. At the same time, we should realize that other salvation religions were also truly international. There was for instance, a temple of Isis in London.” (Elizabeth Isichei, A History of Christianity in Africa from Antiquity to the Present. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans,1995; pp. 26-27). SECTION 2. RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE OF AFRICA AND THE WORLD Part 1. Practitioners of ATR in Africa and the World Part 2. Religious Landscape of Africa and the World

Part 1. PRACTITIONERS OF ATR IN AFRICA AND IN THE WORLD Origin of ATR: 28,000 years ago. 3000 B.C-300 A.D: Egyptian religions (Isis, Ra,…) 500 A.D.-1500A.D: Major African empires and kingdoms 16th-20th century:

147 ¨ Colonialism, slave trade, Christianization ¨ ATR migrate to Europe and the Americas

21st century: Globalization of ATR, Cyberspace

n African traditional religions originated more than 28,000 years ago in the Bantu area that spans roughly from Nigeria to South Africa. The oldest evidence of African religious expression

is found on rock painting in southern Namibia in the Apollo XI cave dated some 28,000 years ago. =>See Maret, Pierre de, Archaeological and other prehistoric evidence of traditional African

religious expression in Blakely, Thomas D., et al., Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression (Portsmouth: Heinemann,1994); p.186.

n Major centers of ATR in Africa ¨ Egypt Luba (Congo) ¨ Dogon (Mali) Zulu (South Africa) ¨ Vodun (Benin) Shona (Zimbabwe) ¨ Yoruba and Igbo (Nigeria) ¨ Akan (Ghana)

10 major centers of African religions in the West:

1. USA 6. Puerto Rico 2. Brazil 7. Trinidad and Tobago 3. Venezuela 8. Jamaica 4. Cuba 9 Haiti 5. London (UK) 10. Paris (France)

n => Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean religions. American Religions of African origin (Diasporic African Religions) 1.VOODOO 6. ESPIRITISMO 2. SANTERIA (LUKUMI) 7. CURANDERISMO 3. CANDOMBLE 8. KUMINA 4. MACUMBA 9. SHANGO 5. UMBANDA 10. ORISHA Geographic location: 1. Vodun (Haiti; Louisiana, New Orleans) 2. Santeria or Lucumi (Cuba, Miami, LA) 3. Kumina of Jamaica 4. Shango of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago

148 5. Orisha (Yoruba religion, Nigeria) 6. Afro-Brazilian religions: Candomble, Macumba,

Umbanda, Quimbanda 7. Espiritismo, and Curanderismo (have some African components) 8. African religions by recent immigrants from Africa (AKAN of Ghana, YORUBA of Nigeria) There are over 8,000 new religious movements in Africa, most of them Christian. African independent churches numbered some 385 million, a figure greater than the 342

million traditional protestants counted worldwide. This is a new type of Christianity deeply shaped by African traditional spirituality and rituals. Robert S. Ellwood and Barbara A. McGraw, Many Peoples, Many Faiths.(Upper Saddle

River: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005); p.359. => ATR is a global “world religion,” international, multiethnic, multicultural, and multiracial. There are more members of ATR than 1) all the people who practice Judaism around the globe 2) all Anglicans of the world, 3) all Protestants of the planet. There are in the world around one billion black people (Africans and the diaspora of

Europe and the Americas) African religions are no longer practiced only by Africans or black people. They are

also practiced by white Europeans and white Americans.

African goddesses, in particular, have a tremendous appeal for African-American women as well as for white European and white American women. Rosalind I.J. Hackett, “women in African religions”(chapter 8) in Lucinda Joy Peach, ed., Women and World Religions (Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 2002);p.323. In this book, Ms Hackett gives us some examples of white women initiated in ATR: 1. Susanne Wenger, an Austrian artist who settled in Yorubaland in the 1960s, and became a priestess in Osogbo, has done much to revitalize the traditional festival of Osun. 2. In Eastern Zimbabwe, Elsie Thompson, a white spirit medium claims to have been possessed by and ordained to bring back the spirits of Mzilikazi and Chamunika. 3. Norma Rosen, whose initiation into the Olokun cult in Benin has been well-documented, has established a shrine in Long Beach, California. ATR guides the life of almost half a billion people

149

n giving them ¨ Moral compass, ¨ An existential significance ¨ Hope and the meaning of life, ¨ self-confidence, and a sense of well-being. ¨ A Hermeneutical key for understanding the Human condition

n It guides their attitude and behavior toward ¨ Life and Death ¨ God and their fellow human beings, ¨ marriage and family relations, ¨ government and economic institutions. ¨ Peace and war ¨ Nature

n => Technically more or less 300 million (conservative estimate) people practice ATR in the world: ¨ 250 million in Africa ¨ 50 million in the Americas, Asia and Europe

n However, African traditional wisdom, rituals, spirituality, worldview, and moral values guide the life of more or less half a billion of humanity (500 million).

If one takes the conservative estimate of 300-350 million practitioners of ATR in the world, * This is more than all Anglican Christians in the world and more than all the Christian members of the “Orthodox Church” in the world. And by far more than all the people who adhere to Judaism worldwide . * In the Americas in general, there are more members of Afro-Atlantic religions than all uddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Jews combined! * Santeria alone has more members than Hinduism and some mainline Protestant churches in the USA and stands among the top ten religions widely practiced in the USA (Rank 4 probably) * “If this figure of 1 to 5 million is true, there may be more practitioners of Santeria than of some of the mainline U.S. Protestant denominations.” USA: 300,000,000 5% AFRICA: 933,448,292 14.2% The rest of

150 the world+USA: 5,641,218,125 85.8% World total: 6,574,666,417 100% Africa has more than one-eighth (1/8)of the total population of the world, distributed over a land area representing slightly more than one-fifth (1/5) of the land surface. Around 1 billion Africans in the world! 900 million people in Africa and 150 million Africans in the world (Diaspora) Diaspora = 1) African immigrants and 2) people of African descent since slave trade. Around 1 billion Africans and people of African descent around the globe (half a billion: 500 million Africans and non-Africans are influenced by ATR) 300 million (in the world) practitioners of ATR (50 milion of them in the Americas in general, and of these 20 million in Brazil) 900 million people in Africa (20-30% of them: ATR) 90 million (around) in Brazil (20 million practice ATR) 35 million African Americans or 12% of US population; (around 1 million practice

Santeria, Vodou, Yoruba and Akan religions) 20 million black people in the Caribbean Over 150,000 in Mexico 100,000 in the entire Europe (Russia, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium,…) According to Los Angeles Times: Santeria: 100 million in the Americas, and 5 million in the USA Santeria alone claims almost 5 million people in the US where it is quickly becoming a mainstream Global Religion. “Although it is difficult to document the exact number of orisha worshipers, some scholars estimate that about one hundred million are identified with the religion of Santeria in the Americas, of which anywhere between half a million and five million are located in the United States. If this is true, there may be more practitioners of Santeria than of some of the mainline U.S. Protestant denominations. One thing is clear, while the number of orisha worshipers is declining in Africa due to the missionary ventures of Muslims and Christians, the number of orisha believers is growing in the Americas.” And even though the religion’s African roots would suggest its adherents to be predominantly black, many believers and even priests are white, from middle-class backgrounds, and college-educated.” (De Latorre, Santeria, p.xiv) It is estimated that there are approximately 50 million members of Afro-Atlantic religions, 20 million of them in Brazil alone. “women and African religions”(chapter 8) in Lucinda Joy Peach, ed., Women and World

Religions (Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 2002);p.301

151 RELIGIOUS LANDSCAPE OF AFRICA AND THE WORLD THE WHOLE WORLD in mid-2008: 6,705 million ASIA: 4,052 million (60% of world population) AFRICA: 967 million (14.5%) Sub-Saharan Africa: 800 million (Northern Africa: 167 million) AMERICAS: 915 million (14% Northern America: 338 million (5% of world population) USA: 304.5 million Canada: 33.3 million Latin America and Caribbean: 577 million Caribbean: 40 million Central America: 150 million (Mexico alone: 107.7) South America: 387 million (Brazil alone: 195.1) EUROPE: 736 million (11.5%) (From Population Reference Bureau: www.prb.org/publications/datasheets/2008, with

minor corrections) L.S. Stavrianos, Global Rift: The Third World Comes of Age. (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1981); p.199. Africa Europe Asia In 1650: 100 million 100 million 330 million 18.3% 18.3% 60.6% In 1850: 95 million 266 million 749 million 8.1% 22.7% 63.9% In 1950: 199 million 593 million 1,379 million 7.9% 24.0% 55.4%

Africa Europe Asia

nIn 1650: 100 million 105 million 257 million

nIn 1900: 120 million 423 million 850 million Source: Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (Washington,DC: Howard University Press, 1982); p.97.

152 FOUR MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS (+Judaism) The population of world believers is distributed as follows:

n1. Christians: 33 % (Catholics: almost 18% of world population and almost 60% of total Christian population)

n2. Muslims: 20-22 % n3. Hindus: 15 % n4. Buddhists: 6.5% n(Judaism: 0. 2%) 75% (3/4) of world population: Christians+ Muslims +Hindus + Buddhists. 10% Atheists and agnostics 15% all other religions TOP 12 RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD n1. COSMOTHEANDRIC RELIGIONS (PAGANISM) n2. CHRISTIANITY (2 billion; 33%=1/3 of humanity; 85%of US population) n3. ISLAM (1.3 billion: 20-22 % =1/5 of Humanity; 1.5% US) n(4. ATHEISM: 10-15% of humanity) ¨ATHEISM, AGNOSTICISM, SECULARISM: Around a billion members: 15- 20% ¨Atheism: 700-800 million, around 10% ¨(=3rd country after China and India) n4. HINDUISM (around 850 million; 14-15% of humanity) n5. BUDDHISM (378 million; 6.5% of humanity) n6. Sikhism (23 million): 0.36 % n7. Judaism (12-15 million): 0.22% of humanity (around 2% of US population) ------ n8. Confucianism (6 to 20 million) n9. Taoism ( 5 to 30 million) n10. Shintoism (4 to 100 million) n11. Bahai (8 million) n12. Jainism (around 5 million)

153 Major Religions of the World (mid-2001 est.) 1. Christians 2,038,905,000 Roman Catholics 1,076,951,000 Protestants 349,792,000 Orthodox 217,522,000 Anglicans 81,663,000 Other 537,135,000 2. Muslims 1, 226,403,000 3. Hindus 828,130,000 4. Chinese Religions: Chinese folk religionists 389,543,000 Confucianists: 6,313,000 Taoists: 2,670,000. 5. Buddhists 364,014,000 6. Sikhs 23,821,000 7. Jews 14,535,000 8. Baha’is: 7,254,000 9. Jains: 4,281,000 10.Shintoists: 2,732,000 Source: 2003 Britannica Book of the Year, ©2003.

nCosmotheandric Religions: (Indigenous Religions and Neo-Paganism) Members: 15-16%(500-900 million) Chinese folk religions (390 million) African traditional religions (300-400 million): ATR+DIASPORA Cosmotheandric religions are by far older than Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism Because the religious worldview and rituals of Cosmotheandric religions have

influenced Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, it is fair to say that the Cosmotheandric religions constitute the majority on this planet.

“Indigenous Religions are the Majority of the World’s religions…Many people are returning to their ‘traditional religion,’ or engaging in both ‘indigenous’ and another, newer religion.Despite centuries of persecution, indigenous religions have remained vitally alive, against all odds, and it is human communities and people who are revitalized by returning to such lifeways.” Graham Harvey, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at King Alfred’s College, Winchester. From Graham Harvey, ed. Indigenous Religions: A Companion. (London: Cassell, 2000),

p.4.

154 CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM IN THE WORLD IN 2007 Christianity Islam Worldwide: 2,069,883,000 1, 254,222,000

n1. Europe: 554,234,000 32,117,000 n2. South America: 501,319,000 1,752,000 n3. Africa: 394,640,000 344,920,000 n4. Asia: 325,034,000 869,880,000 n5. North America: 269,399,000 4,828,000 Warren Matthews, World Religions, Belmont: Thomson and Wadsworth, 5th edition,

2007; pp.275 and 321. Christians by Affiliation 1900 2005 1.Catholics: 47.8% 49.3% 2. Orthodox: 20.9% 9.8% 3. Protestants: 18.6% 16.8% 4. Anglicans: 5.5% 3.5% 5. Independent : 0.5% 19.1% Bednarowski, Mary Farrell, ed., Twentieth-Century Global Christianity, Vol.7,

(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008; pp.32-33 Roman Catholics: 1, 092,853,000 Eastern Orthodox: 217,030,000 Protestants: 364,530,000 Anglicans: 79,988,000 Warren Matthews, World Religions, Belmont: Thomson and Wadsworth, 5th ed., 2007;

pp.275 and 321 In 2000, Independent Christianity: 385 million worldwide Traditional Protestantism: 342 million Independent Christianity or “Independent Churches.” It is a new type of Christianity, independent from the traditional mainstream types of Christianity (Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, and Orthodoxy). In the US, we have for example the “Word-Faith” Movement ( or “Word of Faith” Movement) •Describe themselves as “bible-believing” churches •Dismissed as a “Health and Wealth gospel.” •It is a network of independent and non-denominational churches best known for their stance that physical healing and financial prosperity represent the will of God for all believers and are readily available to anyone with sufficient faith in Christ. • = 2300 to 2500 churches in the USA (with a total membership of 4,600,000 to 4,800,000 people)

155 •It is the 6th largest religious body in the USA. (It appeared in the last fifty years). CHRISTIANITY NO LONGER A WESTERN RELIGION CHANGE IN WORLD’S CHRISTIAN POPULATION 1900 2005 1. EUROPE: 68% (of World Christians) 26% 2. NORTH AMERICA: 14% 13% 3. LATIN AMERICA: 11% 24% 4. ASIA: 4% 17% 5. AFRICA: 2% 19% 6. OCEANIA: 1% 1% EUROPE+NORTH AMERICA: 82% 39% AFRICA+ASIA+LATIN AMERICA: 17% 60% Bednarowski, Mary Farrell, ed., Twentieth-Century Global Christianity, Vol.7,

(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008; pp.32-33 So, in 2005-2009, the situation is as follows: AFRICA+ASIA+LATIN AMERICA= 60% of all Christians, and 67% of all Catholics LATIN AMERICA: 24% of all Christians, and 43% of all Catholics AFRICA: 19% of all Christians, and 13% of all Catholics ASIA: 17% of all Christians, and 11% of all Catholics (60% of world

population) EUROPE: 26% of all Christians, and 25% of all Catholics NORTH AMERICA: 13% of all Christians, and 7% of all Catholics (5% of world

population) => 43% of Christians are White today (>< 81% in 1900) Catholics in the World 1.12 Billion (all Catholics) % of total Catholics Latin America 43% Europe 25% Africa 13% Asia 11% N. America 7% Oceania: 0.8% (=>Africa, Asia, Latin Am.: 67%) Source: Newsweek, Feb. 28, 2005, p.29. Change in Catholic share of population, 1970-2005 Decline Growth Austria (-18%) Congo (+20%) France (-12%) South Korea (+7%)

156 Ireland (-6%) Nigeria (+6%) Brazil (-3%) Sudan (+5%) USA (-1%) Poland (+4%) Newsweek, Feb. 28, 2005, p.29. Growth of Catholics in the World: Africa has the largest increase, and Europe the smallest. According to the Vatican, during the 22 years of John Paul's papacy, the number of baptized Catholics increased by 137.4 % in Africa, 90 % in Central America, 86.6 % in South America, 69.4% in Asia and the Middle East, 24.6 % in North America and 5.8 % in Europe. Top ten Christian countries in the world 2005 (in millions) 2025(millions) 2050 (millions) 1. USA: 251 USA: 295 USA: 329 2. Brazil: 167 Brazil: 193 China: 218 3.China: 111 China: 173 Brazil: 202 4. Mexico: 102 Mexico: 123 *DR Congo: 145 5. Russia: 85 India: 107 India: 137 6. Philippines: 74 Philippines: 97 Mexico: 131 7. India: 68 *Nigeria: 95 *Nigeria: 130 8. Germany: 62 *DRCongo: 91 Philippines: 112 9. *Nigeria: 61 Russia: 85 *Ethiopia: 104 10.*DR Congo:53 *Ethiopia: 67 *Uganda: 95 Christianity moves South Christianity continues to decline in the West (Birth rate, Atheism, Scientism, Secularism, Materialism, revival of Paganism). It is no longer a Western (or European) religion WHITES: 81% of all Christians in 1900 (beginning of 20th century) but now(21st century), Whites constitute only 43% of all Christians. * There are more Christians in Africa than in North America

•67% of all Catholics are in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (while North America accounts only for 7%). Now, the majority of Christians live in Africa, Asia, and South America, Only about 1/3 of the world’s Christians live in Europe and North America. Warren Matthews, World Religions. (Wadsworth, 2004); p.372. “The centers of the church’s universality are no longer in Geneva, Rome, Athens, Paris, London, and New York, but Kinshasa, Buenos Aires, Addis Ababa, and Manilla.” (John Mbiti) “If we want to visualize a ‘typical’ contemporary Christian, we should think of a woman living in a village in Nigeria or in a Brazilian favela… The typical Christian in the first decade of the third millennium is a non-white, nonaffluent, non-northern

157 person who is more often female.” (Philip Jenkins’s Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Oxford

University Press, 2001), p.2 FACTOID

•Africa is the fastest growing Christian continent in the World •There are 869,880,000 Muslims in Asia and only 344,920,000 in Africa (less than half of Asian Muslims)

•More Christians in Africa than in Asia, although Africa has less people than the single country of India.

•More Christians in Africa than in North America (USA+Canada) Africa accounts for 13% of all Catholics while North America accounts only for 7% and

Asia 11%. According to much- quoted statistics by David B. Barrett, there were 10 million African Christians in 1900, 143 million in 1970, 393 million in the year 2000, This means that now 1 in 5 of all Christians is an African. David Barrett, ed., World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative survey of Churches

and religions in the modern world, AD 1900-2000 (Nairobi: Oxford University, 1982.) See also Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995), p.1.

Adherents of Major Religions on the African Continent Adherents 1900 1970 2000 2025 (projection) Christians: 9.9 million (9.2%) 144 m (40.3%) 360 m (46.0%) 634m (48.8%) Muslims: 34.5 million (32.0%) 143 m (40.1) 317 m (40.5%) 519m (40.0%) Ancestral 62.7 million(58.2%) 67.4m (18.9%) 96.8 m (12.3%) 126m (9.7%) (Religions) Religious Change in Nigeria 1900 1970 2000 2025 (projection) Muslims: 4.2 million (26%) 22 m (44%) 49 m (44%) 82m (45%) Christians: 0.2 million (1%) 22m (44%) 51m (46%) 86m (47%) Ancestral religions: 12.0 m (73%) 6m (12%) 11 m (10%) 14 m (8%) Source: Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Revised and expanded edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); p.195 According to many scholars, one of the most intriguing aspects of the history of religion

158 during the twentieth century has been the remarkable receptivity of Africa to Christianity and Islam. Christianity has spread faster in a single century in Africa than it did in several centuries in Asia. This expansion of Christianity in the twentieth-century Africa has been so dramatic that it has been calle “the fourth great age of Christian expansion.” J. Peel, “The Christianization of African Society,” in Fasholé-Luke, E. et al.,

Christianity in Independent Africa (London: Rex Collings, 1978), p.445; and Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995), p.1.

While in the West, roughly 7500 people in effect stop being Christian every day; in Africa roughly double that number become Christian. Kenya has the largest Yearly Meeting of Quakers in the world, outside the United States, and more Anglicans attend Church in Uganda than in England. Elizabeth Isichei, A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995), p.1. Western scholars uses theories borrowed from History, Sociology, Anthropology,

Psychology, Criminal Justice, Biology, “evolutionary theory,” and the “Science of racial taxonomies,” and in some cases Christian theology or Missiology

These theories lead to the conclusion that indigenous religions and people Have an undeveloped consciousness, therefore their views of God and morality are childish,

infantile, contradictory, false and even harmful These people are ignorant, violent, promiscuous and have no sense of distinction between

good and evil. Therefore they cannot be genuine human beings unless they convert to Christianity, Islam or

Judaism. ARE WE ALL “PAGANS”? Paganism has deeply contributed to the development of

n Christianity, Judaism and Islam n Our calendars n Our worldview

159

n Our civilizations n Our lives Mainstream religions are influenced by

n Pagan art and literature and Pagan philosophers n Pagan music and musical instruments n Pagan architecture n Pagan or secular technology nPagan ideas, symbols, rituals, ceremonies

For most Christians, Paganism means 1. Superstition A religion of 2. Idolatry 1. Error (false gods, Devil) 3. Heathenism, Paganism 2. Horror 4. Polytheism 3. Terror 5. Shamanism = Violent, Immoral 6. Animism, Totemism = Satanism, worship of demons 7. Witchcraft, Magic, Fetishism = EVIL and HARMFUL 8. Primitive, primal, savage => Polygamy, human sacrifices, 9. Traditional, indigenous nakedness, sexual immorality, 10. Tribal Violence, wars.

* Tribal people= hunters and gatherers = savages, barbarians = non civilized

= EVIL PEOPLE Note: PAGANISM does not mean SATANISM.

160 SECTION 3. AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS IN 80 THESES THESIS 1. “We would all like to identify our society with its best achievements, and we tend to forget or to excuse as aberration its mediocrities, horror, and blunders... In the same way a Christian, asked about the nature of Christianity, will point to the Gospel teaching “Love they neighbor” and not to the Inquisition, the study of traditional religions should move beyond the superficial issues of witchcraft and problematic rituals and take into account the positive values which provide existential meaning and the moral compass that guides the lives of millions who adhere to these religions” (Adapted from Janheinz Jahn, Muntu: African Culture and the Western World, 1990; p.11; and MacGaffey, W., African Ideology and Belief: A Survey. in African Studies Review 24 (2/3); cited by Mudimbe, V.Y., The Invention of Africa (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1988; p.65) THESIS 2. “If archaeologists are correct in believing that the first human beings came from Africa, then it stands to reason that the first religions also originated there… It is possible that, as the earliest humans slowly migrated to other continents of the world, they carried with them religious ideas and practices that originated in Africa.” Robert M. Baum, “Indigenous Religious Traditions” in Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, A Concise Introduction to World Religions. (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 15-17. THESIS 3. African contribution to Judaism and Christianity “As the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had solemnly made to Abraham, our nation in Egypt grew larger and larger, until a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing of Joseph. He exploited our race, and ill-treated our ancestors, forcing them to expose their babies to prevent their surviving. It was in this period that Moses was born, a fine child and favored by God. He was looked after for three months in his father’s house, and after he had been exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. So Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became a man with power both in his speech and his actions.” (Acts 7, 17-22, Stephen’s Speech. From The Jerusalem Bible). Akhenaton and the origins of Monotheism in ancient Egypt King Amenophis IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten or Akhan-yati (“Beneficial for the Aten”) and ruled Egypt for seventeen years in the middle of the fourteenth century B.C.E., is the first founder of a monotheistic counter-religion in human history. Freud was correct in stressing this point… The Amarna religion (Akhenaton’s reformation of ancient Egyptian religion) has some similarities to Biblical monotheism in its later stages. It is not merely

161 antipolytheistic, but also rationalistic. I agree with Freud that the Amarna religion exhibits tendencies toward what Max Weber called the “disenchantment of the world” in its rejection of magical practices, sacramental symbolism (“idolatry”), and mythological imagery… The story of Moses the Egyptian is a story of religious confrontation and the overcoming of it. The name of Moses is associated with a counter-religion that defined its identity in contradistinction to Egyptian “idolatry.” Making Moses an Egyptian amounts to abolishing this defining opposition. Tracing Moses and his message back to Egypt means leaving the realm of “revealed” or “positive” religion and entering the realm of lumen naturale: experience, reason, tradition, and wisdom. Starting in Hellenism and continuing through modernity up to Freud, the Mosaic project was interpreted as the claim for unity: there is but one God, the invisible source of all. The counter-religious antagonism was always constructed in terms of unity and plurality. Moses and the One against Egypt and the Many. The discourse on Moses the Egyptian aimed at dismantling this barrier. It traced the idea of unity back to Egypt (i.e the idea of the unity or oneness of God was first born in Egypt, under Akhanaton, and Moses may have borrowed this idea from Egypt). This notion of Egyptian monotheism is not the figment of scholars’s imagination. It is clearly stated in various Egyptian texts that define God as “the One Alone who created what is,” “the One who is All,” “the One who makes himself into millions.” Some texts clearly state that God is the million into which he has transformed himself. Million is said to be his body, his limbs, and even his name: “million of millions is his name.” However by transforming himself into the millionfold reality, God has not ceased to be one. He is the many in that mysterious way, hidden and present at the same time in all gods, humans, and nature. Assmann, Jan, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); pp.168-169; 206. THESIS 4. “Africans are civilized to the marrow of their bones! The idea of the barbaric Negro is a European invention.” (Leo Frobenius, German Africanist) Cited by Césaire, Aimé, Discourse on Colonialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972); p.32. THESIS 5 “Undoubtedly prompted by the demon of literature, the ethnographers who tell us of African trances emphasize their brutality. But African mysticism has its nuances, half-tones, and melodic lines. Among the Yoruba and Fon there is an entire civilization of spirituality comparable to that of the wood carvings and bronzes of Benin.” Bastide, R., Le Candomblé de Bahia, cited by Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press); p.126. THESIS 6 “African wisdom is not merely a convenient expression; it is something that exists. It is a collection of unique precepts that enable the people of traditional Africa to settle as harmoniously as possible the disputes that mar human relationships.” Balandier, Georges and Maquet, Jacques, Dictionary of Black African Civilization. (New York: Leon Amiel, ); p.336.

162 THESIS 7 “African religions are the source of the values of African civilization” (The Society of African culture, Symposium of Cotonou, 16-22, August, 1970) THESIS 8 “Africans are notoriously religious. Although many African languages do not have a word for religion as such, it nevertheless accompanies the individual from long before his birth to long after his physical death. African people do not know how to exist without religion. To be human is to belong to the whole community, and to do so involves participating in the beliefs, ceremonies, rituals and festivals of that community. A person cannot detach himself from the religion of his group, for to do so is to be severed from his roots, his foundation, his context of security, his kinships and the entire group of those who make him aware of his own existence. To be without one of these corporate elements of life is to be out of the whole picture. Therefore, to be without religion amounts to a self-excommunication from the entire life of society. Religion permeates into all departments of life so fully that it is not easy or possible always to isolate it. Religion is the strongest element in traditional background, and exerts probably the greatest influence upon the thinking and living of African people. To ignore african traditional religion can only lead to a lack of understanding of African behaviour and thought (...) In academic circles it is recognized that, for the better understanding or appreciation of many subjects like African Anthropology, customary law, linguistics, music, oral literature and history, sociology, traditional medicine and other so- called African studies, the traditional religious world-view has to be taken into serious consideration. It sheds light on many academic issues.” (John Mbiti, p.xii and p.1) THESIS 9 “The African Bible reader will not fear to state that the religious systems of his ancestors were not just tolerated by God. They were the results of the efforts of our cultures wherein the spirit of God was an active agent. And, therefore, there would be no fear in me to assert that, as long as these religions were the serious searching of our cultures for the deity, they are to be respected as the normal divinely-given means for salvation, put by God in his will for the salvation of all the peoples.” Patrick Kalilombe, “The salvific value of African religion,” in AFER 21(3), 1979, p.156. Cited by Opoku, Kofi Asare, “African Traditional religion: An enduring heritage” in Olupona, Jacob K. and Nyang, Sulayman S., eds., Religious Plurality in Africa. (Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993); p.70.

163 THESIS 10 African traditional religion is one of the ways in which Africans have experienced God’s salvific activity in their history, which is an affirmation of God’s presence with African people. This should come as no surprise since God is the God of all humankind and he is not so unkind as to withhold his presence from others. God’s divine truth and salvation have not been confined to a favoured few; on the contrary, God is God because he is accessible to all, and his revelation does not lead to the denial of his presence in certain areas of the world and an affirmation of his presence elsewhere ... The good elements in African traditional religions were put there by God and this clearly demonstrates that God has no favourites and that he shares his truth with all, but does not hide it from others and share it only with those whom he favours. The African religious experience helps to give us a broader and much deeper understanding of God, and rescues us from the limitations which partial human appropriation of God’s activity and revelation tend to place on God… The practitioner’s own view of his religion is important for a wholesome and unjaundiced understanding of African traditional religion. The labels which have been applied to it have all been from the observer’s point of view, for it is quite certain that if the practitioner pouring libation at the foot of a tree were asked to explain what he was doing, he would not say that he was practicing ‘paganism’ or ‘worshipping nature,’ as observers are wont to describe such acts. African traditional religion represents the serious effort of the culture of our forebears in which the “spirit of God was an active agent,” for clearly and unequivocally, we can affirm that God has not been absent from all our serious efforts to make sense of our own life and destiny from the days of our earliest forebears up to our own time.” Opoku, Kofi Asare, “African Traditional religion: An enduring heritage” in Olupona, Jacob K. and Nyang, Sulayman S., eds., Religious Plurality in Africa. (Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1993); pp. 69-70.

164 THESIS 11. ATR’s Resistance to Christianity In the brief span of eighty-five years Africa’s Christian population has risen from about 10 million, or 9.2 percent of the population, to 237 million, and by the turn of the century, it is expected to reach 350 million, or about 50 percent, making it the missionary success story of all time. Yet there are indications that conversions to the Christian churches, especially the “mission-founder” churches, are tapering off. Neither “the prognosis of the World Missionary Conference of Edinburgh (1910) concerning the so-called primitive peoples” that “most of these peoples will have lost their ancient faiths within a generation, and will accept that culture-religion with which they first come into contact” nor the prediction of Roland Oliver, who, using the geometrical conversion progressions of South-of-the-Sahara Africa beginning in 1912, said that by 1992 there will not be a “pagan” left, has hardly come true. “Despite vast numbers of conversions from their ranks to Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, the absolute numbers of tribal religionists including shamanists have increased markedly and regularly in many countries from 1900-1980. There are some indicators that Christians are leaving the churches for traditional religions. And the dramatic increases in the close-to- traditional independent churches are, for the most part, due to the defections from the mission-founded churches, not traditional religions. If we ask why the numbers of traditional religionists are increasing or why Christians are leaving the mission churches for churches more closely resembling the traditional patterns, the answer that immediately comes to mind is the contemporary search for identity and cultural authenticity. But there is also and increasing hot debate going on as to whether or not there ever was a religious conversion of any consequence. The question of Christianity’s religious impact on traditional African religions is a thorny problem and a hotly debated issue today. Robin Horton (1971, 1975a, 1975b) has put forward the theory that neither of the two “world” religions is responsible for a recent change in focus from lesser gods to a commitment in Africa to the Supreme Being. Rather, he states, it would have happened anyway as a natural result of a widening of the political, economic, and cultural frontiers of African societies. In my opinion Horton’s opponents have rightly stressed that African societies have in fact always been aware of the “High God" and called upon Him when occasion demanded (e.g., times of territorial crisis). In this chapter I stress that there must be a distinction made between cultural and religious conversion. Missionaries have tended to conflate the two while Africans have been highly selective. Thus, from the Africans’ religious or problem-solving perspective, conversion to Christianity may mean very little or no change. Jon P. Kirby, “Cultural Change and Religious Conversion in West Africa” in Thomas D. Blakely, et al., eds., Religion in Africa.Experience and Expression( London: James Currey, 1994); pp.57-58.

165 THESIS 12 “Those who believe in the unity of humankind, and those who believe in the unity of God, should be prepared therefore to discover a unity of humankind’s religious history. We are not so prepared, however… The unity of humankind’s religious history is obvious, once one sees it. We have, however, been assiduously trained not to see it. Even more, strongly, we have been pressured not to think it; and not to feel it. Yet today it beckons our minds… An ambition of mine has for some time been to try my hand, before I die, at writing a world history of religion in the singular… My point is that every religious tradition on earth has in fact developed in interaction with the others; not in isolation, in some watertight compartment. This point might seem obvious, or even trivial, did it not play havoc with much traditional theology – and even, more subtly, with traditional conceptualizations… New in Christendom is the acceptance of pluralism. The history of man’s religious life, which for some centuries was divided into self-conscious parts, is beginning to include also a developing history of diverse instances of self-consciousness of the whole; instances open to each other.” Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Towards a World Theology: Faith in the Comparative History of Religion. (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1989; pp.4, 6, 15, and p.180 THESIS 13 In 2003, Dr. Jackson J. Spielvogel (Professor at the Pennsylvania State University) opened his book on “Western Civilization” with chapter one on “The Ancient Near East: the First civilizations” in which he made the following important remark: “All humans today, whether they are Europeans, Australian Aborigenes, or Africans, belong to the same subspecies of human being. The first anatomically modern humans, known as Homo Sapiens Sapiens appeared in Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago. They began to spread outside Africa around 100,000 years ago… By 10,000 B.C., members of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species could be found throughout the world… Western civilization can be traced back to the ancient Near East, where people in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed organized societies and created the ideas and institutions that we associate with civilization. The later Greeks and Romans, who played such a crucial role in the development of Western Civilization, were themselves nourished and influenced by these older societies in the Near East. It is appropriate, therefore, to begin our story of Western civilization in the ancient Near East with the early civilization of Mesopotamia and Egypt.” Jackson J. Spielvogel, Western Civilization. Volume 1: to 1715. (Thomson Wadsworth, 2003), p.2. THESIS 14 Uniqueness Ideology and the Fear of Multiculturalism and universal brotherhood: “Now if the foundations of Western civilization were multicultural (in the quite specific sense of deriving from many cultures), it would be important NOT ONLY TO SCHOLARS concerned with the question of what we should teach students about what happened in the ancient world. It would also be important to ALL OF US who (living in the West) consider

166 ourselves to be HEIRS of Western civilization. For we all understand that the FOUNDATION MYTH of Western civilization HELPS TO DEFINE WHO WE THINK WE ARE, or would like to think we are. Thus, if the TREE OF OUR CIVILIZATION were shown to have roots in the soils of many DIFFERENT LANDS, a VISION OF OURSELVES as a pluralistic, diverse, multiethnic, and multiracial society might be legitimated.” (Guy MacLean Rogers, Multiculturalism and the Foundations of Western civilization, in Black Athena Revisited, p.429) THESIS 15 “Many scholars now believe that mankind originated in Africa, and that all living humans must trace descent from an original African population... The origin of language may lie in sub-Saharan Africa with the emergence of modern humans” Bernard Comrie, Stephen Matthews, and Maria Polinsky, eds., The Atlas of Languages. The Origin and Development of Languages Throughout The World. (New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1996); pp.72 and 74. THESIS 16 AFRICAN ORIGIN OF HUMANKIND AND RELIGION (by Robert Fisher, American missionary) Reflecting on the discoveries of linguistics, genetics, paleontology, and history of art, the American missionary Robert Fischer comes to the logical conclusion on the significant role played by Africa in the origin of world religions and their basic symbols and rituals, and religious language:

The scientists, whose job is to look for fossil remains and to dig for archeological evidence of human origins, have probably demonstrated quite well for us that the earliest human life forms appeared in East Africa over a million years ago. These paleoanthropologists maintain that the first humans evolved in Africa and migrated to Europe and Asia. These earliest human life are referred to as Homo erectus. The evolution from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens is explained in various ways. Some believing in the “multiregional hypothesis” claimed that some Homo Sapiens developed in Africa, another in Europe and another in Asia. But other scholars maintain that all humans that inhabit the earth today came out of the Homo Sapiens that evolved in Africa (“Out of Africa” theory).Scientists at Berkeley, California, and at Emory, in Atlanta, by looking at patterns of genetic variation of mitochondrial DNA among human populations, determined that Africans, of all existing populations, have the deepest genetic roots. Since only women are the bearers of a type of “genetic time-clock,” the African woman stands out as the model of a kind of “Mitochondrial Eve.” Thus genetic evidence point to the origin of humankind from a “Black Eve.” All humanity descends from a Black African woman. The fundamental belief among many scientists is that the transformation of an archaic human form to a modern form of Homo Sapiens occurred first in Africa about 100,000 to 150,000 years ago. From Africa this most recent ancestor migrated to spread over the face of the earth. All human beings therefore descended from Africans. This implies that not only humanity, but also language, culture, civilization and religion were born

167 in Africa… Until about 1950 it was assumed that the Afroasiatic language family had been introduced into Africa from neighboring Asia, but now it is widely held that it originated in Africa west of the Red Sea. It includes the Semitic languages of southwestern Asia, such as Arabic, Hebrew, and ancient Aramaic, and the ancient Egyptian, Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, and Omotic languages of northern and northeastern Africa… The point we make here is that since the cradle of humanity was probably Africa – or, at least, one important segment of the species Homo Sapiens evolved out of an early genetic pool in Africa – one could claim that dance, ritual, and ceremony are the dramatic elements of the religious traditions that are still extant today all over sub-Saharan Africa and have spread from there over the face of the earth. The African is a person of dance. The Africans were the first human beings to dance and reflect on their humanity in terms of a world beyond the physical, the spiritual order of gods and ancestors. The Africans were the messengers of art and of the good news about a world beyond the mere mundane earth.” Robert B. Fisher, West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998), pp.13-15; 30.

THESIS 17

'Out Of Africa' Theory Boost: Skull Dating Suggests Modern Humans Evolved In Africa http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070112104129.htm January 12, 2007 (Source: Max Planck Society) Science Daily — Reliably dated fossils are critical to understanding the course of human evolution. A human skull discovered over fifty years ago near the town of Hofmeyr, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, is one such fossil. A study by an international team of scientists led by Frederick Grine of the Departments of Anthropology and Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York published in Science magazine has dated the skull to 36,000 years ago. This skull provides critical corroboration of genetic evidence indicating that modern humans originated in sub-Saharan Africa and migrated about this time to colonize the Old World. (Science January 12, 2007) The Hofmeyr Skull. Scientists have now dated the skull as being 36,000 years old. The great similarity of this skull to skulls of the same age from Eurasian finds confirms the "Out of Africa"-hypothesis. Modern humans broke out of their place of origin around 40,000 years ago - from Africa south of the Sahara - and populated the world. "The Hofmeyr skull gives us the first insights into the morphology of such a sub-Saharan African population, which means the most recent common ancestor of all of us - wherever we come from," said Grine. Although the skull was found over half a century ago, its significance became apparent only recently. A new approach to dating developed by Grine team member Richard Bailey and his colleagues at Oxford University allowed them to determined its age at just over 36,000 years ago by measuring the amount of radiation that had been absorbed by sand grains that filled the inside of the skull’s braincase. At this age, the skull fills a significant void in the human fossil record of sub-Saharan Africa from the period between about 70,000 and 15,000 years ago. During this critical period, the archaeological tradition known as the Later Stone Age, with its sophisticated stone and bone tools and artwork appears in sub-Saharan Africa, and anatomically modern people appear for the first time in Europe and western Asia with the equally complex Upper Paleolithic archeological tradition. In order to establish the affinities of the Hofmeyr fossil, team member Katerina Harvati of the

168 Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, used 3- dimensional measurements of the skull known to differentiate recent human populations according to their geographic distributions and genetic relationships. She compared the Hofmeyr skull with contemporaneous Upper Paleolithic skulls from Europe and with the skulls of living humans from Eurasia and sub-Saharan Africa, including the Khoe-San (Bushmen). Because the Khoe-San are represented in the recent archeological record of South Africa, they were expected to have close resemblances to the South African fossil. Instead, the Hofmeyr skull is quite distinct from recent sub-Saharan Africans, including the Khoe- San, and has a very close affinity with the European Upper Paleolithic specimens. The field of paleoanthropology is known for its hotly contested debates, and one that has raged for years concerns the evolutionary origin of modern people. A number of genetic studies (especially those on the mitochondrial DNA) of living people indicate that modern humans evolved in sub-Saharan Africa and then left between 65,000 and 25,000 years ago to colonize the Old World. However, other genetic studies (generally on nuclear DNA) argue against this African origin and exodus model. Instead, they suggest that archaic non-African groups, such as the Neandertals, made significant contributions to the genomes of modern humans in Eurasia. Until now, the lack of human fossils of appropriate antiquity from sub- Saharan Africa has meant that these competing genetic models of human evolution could not be tested by paleontological evidence. The skull from Hofmeyr has changed that. The surprising similarity between a fossil skull from the southernmost tip of Africa and similarly ancient skulls from Europe is in agreement with the genetics-based "Out of Africa" theory, which predicts that humans like those that inhabited Eurasia in the Upper Paleolithic should be found in sub-Saharan Africa around 36,000 years ago. The skull from South Africa provides the first fossil evidence in support of this prediction. Reference: F.E. Grine, R.M. Bailey, K. Harvati, R.P. Nathan, A.G. Morris, G.M. Henderson, I. Ribot, A.W.G. Pike. Late Pleistocene Human Skull from Hofmeyr, South Africa and Modern Human Origins. Science, 12. January 2007. Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Max Planck Society

THESIS 18

“We’re taught that Western civilization originated in the Near East, was brought to brilliant heights in Europe by the Greeks and Romans, and produced three of the world’s great religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Those religions arose among people speaking three closely related languages, termed Semitic languages: Aramaic (the language of Christ and the Apostles), Hebrew, and Arabic, respectively. We instinctively associate Semitic peoples with the Near East. However, Greenberg determined that Semitic languages really form only one of six or more branches of a much larger language family, Afro-asiatic, all of whoe other branches (and other 222 surviving languages) are confined to Africa. Even the Semitic subfamily itself is mainly African, 12 of its 19 surviving languages being confined to Ethiopia. This suggests that Afroasiatic languages arose in Africa, and that only one branch of them spread to the Near East. Hence it may have been Africa that gave birth to the

169 languages spoken by the authors of the Old and New Testaments and the Koran, the moral pillars of Western civilization.”

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. (New York/London: W.W. Norton & company, 1999), p.383.

EGYPTOLOGY, THEOLOGY, BIBLICAL STUDIES and ‘MOSES THE EGYPTIAN” In dealing with discourses on Moses the Egyptian, I shall be taking “Egyptian in a large sense, as comprising not only ethnic but also cultural identity. For different reasons, Manetho, Strabo, Toland, and Freud took Moses to be a real Egyptian in the ethnic and cultural sense. In contrast, Spencer, Warburton, Reinhold, and Schiller remained faithful to the canonical tradition in which Moses was a Hebrew. But they viewed Moses as totally assimilated and, what is more, initiated into the “hieroglyphic wisdom and mysteries” of the Egyptians….It was not Johann Winckelmann who eclipsed or marginalized Egypt, but Egyptologists such as Adolph Erman, Kurt Sethe, and Sir Alan Gardiner, who pursued a project of demystification… However, although their writings were detrimental to the image of Egypt in the cultural memory of Europe (for some time), the situation changed again after the second world war. It is certainly no coincidence that a reaction to Egyptology as mere positivism (science for science’s sake) or mere philological science was started in postwar Germany by Egyptologists such as Joachim Spiegel, Eberhard Otto, Hellmut Brunner, Siegfried Morenz, and Walther Wolf, all of whom had witnessed the catastrophic events of World War II and the horrors of German fascism. They looked to Egypt not only as territory for archaeological, historical, and philological discoveries and problem-solving but also with the – more or less unconscious – hope of gaining insight into the fundamentals of moral and religious orientation. Their study of Egypt was a project of entering into a dialogue with ancient Egypt instead of making it the mere object of decipherment and discovery, and of integrating again into the cultural memory of Europe instead of closing the “canon” with the Biblical and Classical traditions. (Over the last 500 years, a large number of European intellectuals, Egyptologists, theologians and Biblical scholars have studied Egypt as the historical background of Moses, monotheism, revelation, and ten commandments, and have especially turned to Egypt in time of war, political turmoil, and social malaise to find guidance in order to solve problems of philosophical, social and moral crisis)

Assmann, Jan, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); pp.21-22 In his reflection on the Noahide laws, Robert M. Seltzer pointed out that the rabbis were convinced that “monotheism is a necessary precondition for righteousness.” Robert M. Seltzer, Jewish People, Jewish Thought. (New York: Macmillan, 1980); p.286.

170 THESIS 19: African contribution to the religion of ancient Greece Herodotus (484-425 B.C.), History, Book II (paragraphs 50,51,52 and 104): “Almost all the names of the gods came into Greece from Egypt. My inquiries prove that they were all derived from a foreign source, and my opinion is that Egypt furnished the greater number. For with the exception of Neptune and the Dioscuri, whom I mentioned above, and Juno, Vesta, Themis, the Graces, and the Nereids, the other gods have been known from time immemorial in Egypt. This I assert on the authority of the Egyptians themselves. The gods, with whose names they profess themselves unacquainted, the Greeks received, I believe, from the Pelasgi, except Neptune. Of him they got their knowledge from the Libyans, by whom he has been always honoured, and who were anciently the only people that had a god of the name. The Egyptians differ from the Greeks also in paying no divine honours to heroes. Besides these which have been here mentioned, there are many other practices whereof I shall speak hereafter, which the Greeks have borrowed from Egypt… In early times the Pelasgi, as I know by information which I got at Dodona, offered sacrifices of all kinds, and prayed to the gods, but had no distinct names or appellations for them, since they had never heard of any. They called them gods (Theoi, disposers), because they disposed and arranged all things in such a beautiful order. After a long lapse of time the names of the gods came to Greece from Egypt, and the Pelasgi learnt them, only as yet they knew nothing of Bacchus, of whom they first heard at a much later date. Not long after the arrival of the names they sent to consult the oracle at Dodona about them. This is the most ancient oracle in Greece, and at that time there was no other. To their question, "Whether they should adopt the names that had been imported from the foreigners?" the oracle replied by recommending their use. Thenceforth in their sacrifices the Pelasgi made use of the names of the gods, and from them the names passed afterwards to the Greeks…There can be no doubt that the Colchians are an Egyptian race. Before I heard any mention of the fact from others, I had remarked it myself. After the thought had struck me, I made inquiries on the subject both in Colchis and in Egypt, and I found that the Colchians had a more distinct recollection of the Egyptians, than the Egyptians had of them. Still the Egyptians said that they believed the Colchians to be descended from the army of Sesostris. My own conjectures were founded, first, on the fact that they are black-skinned and have woolly hair, which certainly amounts to but little, since several other nations are so too; but further and more especially, on the circumstance that the Colchians, the Egyptians, and the Ethiopians, are the only nations who have practised circumcision from the earliest times. The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestine themselves confess that they learnt the custom of the Egyptians; and the Syrians who dwell about the rivers Thermodon and Parthenius, as well as their neighbours the Macronians, say that they have recently adopted it from the Colchians. Now these are the only nations who use circumcision, and it is plain that they all imitate herein the Egyptians. With respect to the Ethiopians, indeed, I cannot decide whether they learnt the practice of the Egyptians, or the Egyptians of them- it is undoubtedly of very ancient date in Ethiopia- but that the others derived their knowledge of it from Egypt is clear to me from the fact that the Phoenicians, when they come to have commerce with the Greeks, cease to follow the Egyptians in this custom, and allow their children to remain uncircumcised. I will add a further proof to the identity of the Egyptians and the Colchians. These two nations weave their linen in exactly the same way, and this is a way entirely unknown to the rest of the world; they also in their whole mode of life and in their language resemble one another.”

171 THESIS 20 The influence of the Egyptian Isis religion in Europe (According to Dr. R.E. Witt of the University of London) To us in Western Europe today the Egypt of the Pharaohs is a strangely remote and lost land. The temples and pyramids, the creeds and cults of the Nile elude our understanding. A modern mind is easily baffled by the apparent confusions and illogicalities of Egyptian religion. For our western world to appreciate the civilization of the Nile is hard... Its culture and its gods, we tell ourselves, belong to a past we have long outgrown. Of course, our Occidental society today is firmly founded on long Christian and Graeco-Roman tradition. But this in turn did not arise in vacuo. If we look beneath the surface we can find links between our present-day modes of thinking and the wisdom of Egypt... Our Western world’s Graeco-Roman and Christian civilization has emerged and taken shape out of the cultural melting pot of the Near East. Historians however have not always acknowledged how potent a factor in this process was the religion of Egypt. From Memphis and Alexandria the cult of Isis and her Temple Associates shed an incalculable influence on other rival faiths, including even Christianity... Plato’s fellow Greek, Herodotus, had earlier stayed in Egypt and had written about its religion; he concluded that its gods had been appropriated by the cities of Greece. A full-scale investigation in a field which appears neglected is long overdue... Worship of the Egyptian goddess Isis dates as far back as 2500 B.C. and extended at least until the fifth century A.D. throughout the Roman world. The importance of her cult is attested to in Apuleius’s Golden Ass, and evidence of its influence has been found in places as far apart as Afganistan and Portugal, the Black Sea and northern England… In the Graeco-Roman world Isis came to win the unswerving love and loyalty of countless men and women of every rank. Her names were infinite and her wisdom immeasurable. She did not allow room for any quarrel between science and religion, for racial discrimination and segregation according to the colour of one’s skin. For Plutarch, ‘wise and wisdom-loving’ Isis was a ‘philosophic’ divinity, sharing in the love of the Good and the Beautiful and imbued with the purest principles. She taught her followers to pursue penitence, pardon and peace. Elsewhere she is characterized as being the inventress of all, as having divided earth from heaven, as making the universe spin round and as being triumphant over Fate, Fortune and the Stars. She was tender-hearted as a mother. On the whole human race she could be thought to bestow her love, being its never-absent redeemer and its haven of rest and safety, the Holy One – sancta et humani generis sospitatrix perpetua. The friend of slaves and sinners, of the artisans and the downtrodden, at the same time she heard the prayers of the wealthy, the unblemished maiden, and the aristocrat and the emperor. For her sake women could both fast and make merry. She prevailed through the force of love, pity, compassion, and her personal concern for sorrows such as she had herself known… For countless numbers of men and women in the Graeco-Roman world Isis remained what she had been in the Black Land of the Pharaohs: Mother of the God, Mistress of the Word in the beginning, Mistress of Eternity, Source of grace and truth, Source of Resurrection and Life, The Supreme Deity as maker of Monarchs Many centuries before the Christian Era Isis had been revered in the Nile Valley as the Unique and Incomparable. So she for long remained, creating as she had always done, her own beauty and perfection.

172 Lady of the House of Life, Shelter of the Living and of the Dead, We do well, therefore, to see her steadily and to see her whole – Isis, the great ruler of the Graeco-Roman world, ever active and magical with her gifts of knowledge, power and wisdom, the eternal mainspring of men’s deepest faith, hope and love. In the capital of the world empire established by Augustus the religion so ardently professed by the Nile’s final sovereign had for long been familiar. During the Republican period its career had been chequered. When the Empire emerged the cult of Isis became a thriving influence, which no political pressure could stop…. Isis was indeed the darling goddess of many Roman Emperors… The emperor Commodus was so much addicted to the faith of Isis that, besides shaving his head and carrying an image of Anubis, he ‘fulfilled all the pauses’. The pause in its literal sense meant a stop at stated intervals for the singing of hymns to the goddess. Isis and her cult appear on Greek Imperial and Roman coins. Otho is recorded to have taken part openly in the rites of Isis only half a century after the death of Augustus…The roman emperor Gaius followed the example of the Pharaohs by marrying his own sister Drusilla and listened in true Isiac style to an Egyptian soothsayer who forecast the emperor’s death on the very day it happened. Gaius first gave the Isiac cult state recognition, and had an Egyptian obelisk brought to Italy… Offerings to Isis were made by people of importance during the reign of emperor Claudius and a military tribune who served under him in Britain held an Egyptian life priesthood and a priest of Isis dedicated a marble tablet for the Empress Agrippina…. To hold that the Egyptian goddess Isis was the forerunner of Catholicism’s Mary, Mother of God, is to raise the question of the uniqueness of Christianity… Giordano Bruno, the unfrocked monk, perished on 16 February 1600, for his intransigent denial that Christianity was unique. He was convinced that the wisdom and magic-born religion of ancient Egypt excelled the fanatical theology that burnt dissident thinkers as heretics….For Bruno the most acceptable theology was what had arisen in ancient Egypt, Bruno’s was an Egyptianizing religion. Our Western world today needs such a critical mind for a comparative study of the faiths of Isis and Jesus. Certainly the resemblances exist… The ritual of the Christian Church owes a considerable and unacknowledged debt to the Egyptian religion that preceded it in the Graeco-Roman world… The triad of Christian virtues, Faith, Hope and Love, so eloquently praised in Corinthians, is introduced in such a way as to suggest that the writer of what is obviously an aretalogy is taking a close look at contemporary cults. He mentions the gift of tongues, a gift on which much stress is laid in the New Testament. The followers of Isis held that she controlled the various tongues, ‘dialects’, that prevailed in the world…The virtue of Faith in Christian context is inseparable from Love. Religious belief of this kind was not unknown to the followers of Isis. The ‘Love’ (agape) which is the crowning virtue is apparently not restricted to Christianity. According to the received text of the Oxyrhynchus Litany, agape is a cult name for Isis, who in Egyptian tradition as old as the Pyramid Texts personifies tenderness, compassion and divine love….. The time has come for Christian churches to acknowledge that the roots of the ‘new’ religion they exist to uphold were abundantly watered not just by the Jordan but also by the Nile, and that one of their holy cities long ago was Alexandria…. Today, the debt to a civilization long ago Christianized must be readily granted by those who deal with religious origins… Our theories need to be modified… We need the intellectual colloquy of Athens and Alexandria, and nowhere more urgently than in the field of religious experience. What the western world today upholds as the inveterate tradition of its own formative Christianity gains in value when correlated with even earlier tradition. A principle in all our thinking must be the conviction that theological

173 speculations have never arisen in vacuo. It is a platitude that the pantheon of Greece and Rome did not suddenly fall down flat like the walls of Jericho. What is not so well understood is how this classical polytheism before it was finally assaulted by the Church had undergone a manifold foreign infiltration in which one of the strongest influences was Egyptian… Even when the cause of the monks and the bishops had triumphed the distinction between ANKH and cross was blurred, and the Sanctus bell still tinkled like the Isiac sistrum. Holy aspersions were practiced as in the past…The church uneasily accommodated the ‘Horus- born’ theologian Origen as well as sixteen Serapions. From Isis herself stem such Christian names as Ision and Paesis, to say nothing of over forty Isidores. Clearly the Pauline view of Isiacism was penetratingly critical. Paul’s world was a patriarchy, his is religion was Christological and monotheistic, and God was found in fashion as a man. Isis was female, Isis was the champion of Idolatry, and Isis was the lover of the Nile menagerie. And yet the Pauline and the Isiac faith had at least one common characteristic. Each swept aside racial and social distinctions. “There is neither Greek nor Jew…Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Change Christ to Isis – and the words are still true….

R.E.Witt, Isis in the Ancient World. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997; First edition in 1971). Dr. R.E. Witt (1903-1980) taught at Queen Mary’s College, University of London. His book is the first study to document the extent and complexity of the Isis cult’s influence on Graeco-Roman and early Christian culture. THESIS 21 Testimony of the Bible on African contribution to the religious worldview of Moses (Exodus 1, 20-22; 2, 1-10; and Acts 7, 17-23):

The (Hebrew) people, increased and grew strong… Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects, "Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews, but you may let all the girls live." Now a certain man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, who conceived and bore a son. Seeing that he was a goodly child, she hid him for three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took a papyrus basket, daubed it with bitumen and pitch, and putting the child in it, placed it among the reeds on the river bank. His sister stationed herself at a distance to find out what would happen to him. Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river to bathe, while her maids walked along the river bank. Noticing the basket among the reeds, she sent her handmaid to fetch it. On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying! She was moved with pity for him and said, "It is one of the Hebrews' children." Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call one of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?" "Yes, do so," she answered. So the maiden went and called the child's own mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will repay you." The woman therefore took the child and nursed it. When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him as her son and called him Moses; for she said, "I drew him out of the water."… When the time drew near for the fulfillment of the promise that God pledged to Abraham, the people had increased and become very numerous in Egypt, until another king who knew nothing of Joseph came to power (in Egypt). He dealt shrewdly with our people and oppressed (our) ancestors by forcing them to expose their infants, that they might not survive. At this time Moses was born, and he was extremely beautiful. For three months he was nursed in his father's house; but when he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought

174 him up as her own son. Moses was educated (in) all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his words and deeds. When he was forty years old, he decided to visit his kinsfolk, the Israelites.

THESIS 22. African contribution to the Bible, Judaism and Christianity From Ronald J. Williams, “Egypt and Israel,” 10th chapter in J.R. Harris, ed., The Legacy of Egypt (Oxford: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Second edition, 1971); pp.257-290. Main thesis of this chapter:

“It does not fall within the scope of this chapter to trace the further contributions of Egypt to the development of early Christianity. Nevertheless, enough has been said to show that Hebrew culture did not emerge in a vacuum, but was subjected to influences from many quarters, not the least of which came from the valley of the Nile…Egypt had long been renowned for her wisdom, as both Old and New Testaments affirm (1Kgs.4:30; Heb.5:10; Acts…). She had a long tradition of didactic treatises designed for the edification of the sons of officials who were trained to enter government service….”

Egyptian contribution to 1. Hebrew culture 2. Jewish names 3. Hebrew Language 4. Hebrew Bible (biblical content and language or mode of expression) 5. Judeo-Christian theology

Here are some of the most significant parts of that text:

Because of the unique position of Syria-Palestine as a bridge between Egypt and Western Asia, across which the military roads and trade routes passed, it was continually subject to the cross-currents which flowed from these centers of culture. As early as about 3000 B.C., for instance, there are evidences of Egyptian influence in Byblos. Indeed, from the time of the Old Kingdom right down to the Empire period, an Egyptian temple was to be found in this Phoenician city… During the Middle Kingdom (ca.2052-1786 B.C.) Egypt exercised an economic if not political dominion over Syria-Palestine. To this period belong the movements of the Hebrew patriarchs to and from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament (Gen. 12:10 ff.)… later Egypt was to be invaded and occupied by the Asiatic hordes known as the Hyksos. The period of their domination witnessed the movement of Semitic tribes into Egypt, and the Biblical account of Joseph is probably to be placed at the end of the Hyksos era. (Eventually Egyptians supported by Nubians expelled the Hyksos and regained the control of their country). The contacts between Egypt and Syria-Palestine became still closer when, during the New Kingdom, the latter territory became part of the newly created Egyptian Empire. The topographical lists of Thutmose III carved on the temple at Karnak and later copied by Ramses II and III, bear witness to his conquest… The soil of Palestine has also yielded evidence of Egyptian domination in the form of hieroglyphic inscriptions found at various sites… To consider the important developments in the administration of the nascent Hebrew State under David and Solomon, during the reign of the former, Israel became the leading power in

175 Syria-Palestine, and consequently required the creation of a military, economic, and governmental organization. It was only natural that David should look to Egypt for his models, either directly or through Phoenician intermediairies… Contacts between Egypt and the Hebrew people become increasingly important during the period of decline which followed the New Kingdom. In the time of David, a member of the Edomite royal house named Hadad fled to Egypt and was given political asylum by an unnamed Pharaoh (1kgs.11:14-22), who may have been Siamun (c. 990-974 B.C.) or Psusennes (Psibkhenne; c. 974-940 B.C.) of the Twenty-first Dynasty. When Solomon succeeded to the throne, Hadad returned to Palestine to plague him. In similar fashion Solomon’s enemy Jeroboam later took refuge under Sheshonq I (O.T. Shishak; c. 940-919 B.C.) of the Twenty-second Dynasty (1 Kgs. 11:40). The account of Solomon’s own marriage to an Egyptian prince again fails to name the Pharaoh who was her father (1Kgs. 3:1)…In 301 B.C. Palestine came under the control of Ptolemy I, and was to remain so for a century. Many prisoners were brought back from his Palestinian campaigns, and during the third century he also imported Jewish soldiers to Egypt as mercenaries, granting them lands to be held under military tenure. Jewish settlers tended more and more to drift into Alexandria until, by the first century B.C., they formed the largest body of Jews outside Judaea. After the deposition and subsequent murder of the High Priest Onias IV, about 160 B.C., a further group of Jews emigrated to the southern Delta, where they built a temple at Leontopolis, which was eventually destroyed during the first century A.D. In view of these numerous contacts between the two cultures occurring in both Egypt and Palestine, it was inevitable that Israel should fall heir to many features of Egyptian civilization. It will be our task in the following pages to draw attention to some of these.

The Hebrews’ gradual assimilation to Egyptian ways is shown by the fact that they gave their children Egyptian names… Semites living in Egypt tended to give their children Egyptian names, and sometimes even to adopt them for themselves. Some of these names went with them to Palestine, and a few have survived even to the present day, such as Moses, derived from msw, ‘child’ (as in Ramses), Susanna, from ssn (earlier sssn) meaning ‘lotus’… The Egyptian language, as might well be expected, also left an indelible mark on Hebrew vocabulary, and a number of loan-words are preserved in the Old Testament…In the following we can see some specific examples of Egyptian contribution to the religious language and religious ideas of the Bible, Judaism and Christianity.

1. IMAGO DEI DOCTRINE and the CREATION STORY A Hebrew doctrine which may owe something to Egyptian sources is that of the creation of man in the image of God. Attempts to show a dependence on Babylonian mythology are most unconvincing. However, in a work of the Tenth Dynasty in which the sun-God Re is described as a beneficent creator, we read: ‘ They (i.e. mankind) are his likenesses (snnw) who have come forth from his body’ (Merikare, 132). The concept appears again in the New Kingdom. At the end of the ‘Instruction of Any’, in a lively exchange of letters between Any and his son, the latter writes: ‘Men are in the image of the god because of their custom of hearing a man in regard to his reply. It is not the wise alone who is in his image, while the multitude are dumb-beasts (Any, 10/8f). Later still, during the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, Taharqa’s sister Shepenwepet is described in a text at Karnak as the ‘image’ (tit) of the god Re. In the text just mentioned Re is called ‘good shepherd of the people.’ (mniw nfr n rhyt). This is a common figure in Egyptian texts, going back to the First Intermediate Period. The sage Ipuwer says of Re: ‘He is the shepherd of everyone, in whose mind there is no evil. His herds are diminished, yet he has certainly spent the day caring for them. Mankind is referred to as ‘this noble flock’ and Merikare say: ‘Men, the flock of the god (i.e. Re), are well provided for.’ In the New Kingdom sun-hymns Re is spoken of as a good shepherd who is

176 tireless, capable, and loving (P. Ch. Beatty iv. Rt 3/4, 4/3, 7/9, 8/6; vg. B.M. Stela 826, lines 7 and 11). The Biblical parallels are obvious (Isa. 40: 11; Mic. 2:12; Jer.31:10; Ezek.34:11 ff; pss.23:1; 78:52; 80:1 (Heb. 82); 95:7, etc.). However, it should be noted that Mesopotamian texts also occasionally employ the word re’u, ‘shepherd’, in speaking of the gods, although it is much more commonly used with reference to human rulers. 2. LAST JUDGMENT During the First Intermediate Period in Egypt, the idea emerged of a final judgment of the deceased. Somewhat later Osiris became the final judge of all men. In the later copies of the ‘Book of the Dead’, vignettes frequently portray the scene of psychostasia, in which the heart of the deceased is weighed in the scales against ma‘at, ‘truth’, ‘justice’, ‘righteousness’, while Anubis and Thoth preside over the proceedings (Pl.18). The Hebrew belief in a doctrine of immortality is late, however, and consequently the idea of a final judgement does not appear before the second century B.C. (Dan. 7:10; 12:1-3; Enoch 47:3; 90:20?ff; Heb.9:27; 1John 4:17; Jude 6; Rev.20:4,12-15). However, a few earlier passages in the Old Testament may reflect Egyptian ideas concerning psychostasia (Job 31:6; Prov.16:2; 24:12). Certainly the motif of scales in which the good and evil deeds of men are weighed in the final judgment appears in later Jewish writings (Enoch 41:1; 61:8; 2 Esd.3:34; Apoc. Of Elias 13:13f). 3. THE BOOK OF PROVERB AND WISDOM The most striking example of borrowing from Egyptian texts is found in Prov.22:17 to 23:14. This small collection within the Book of Proverbs bears a remarkable similarity to the ‘Wisdom of Amenemope.’ The existence of an ostracon containing a schoolboy’s copy of a portion of the text is clear evidence of the fact that the original work is much earlier than the actual British Museum papyrus, which has been dated by some scholars as late as the sixth century B.C. The work may, indeed, be as early as the thirteenth century… 4. HYMNOLOGY AND THE BOOK OF PSALMS It is probable that Israel owed as much to Mesopotamia as to Egypt in the area of hymnology, but her debt to the latter civilization was by no means inconsiderable. Indeed, literary dependence on the great Hymn to Aten (Anet 369-71) has been claimed for Ps.104. It cannot be denied that the similarity is impressive between this psalm and the hymn which was composed in the reign of the heretic king Akhenaten (c.1365-1348 B.C.)…. Egyptian language had an outstanding genius for story-telling. Subsequently. Egyptians bequeathed to the Hebrews various forms of “literary genre.” Indeed, the most influential contribution of Egypt lay in the area of literary types and motifs. Peet, in his Schweich Lectures of 1929, made the statement that Egypt was ‘the home of the short story, and one of her claims to literary recognition is that she produced the first short stories to be told for their own sake.” … 5. THE EXPRESSION “WAY OF LIFE.” A frequent expression in Egyptian texts is the ‘way of life’ or ‘way of the living’ (w3t nt ‘nhw. It occurs in the form w3t n ‘nh (P. Ch. Beatty iv. Vs 6/4) The Hebrew equivalents, which are all to be found in books which elsewhere reveal Egyptian influence, are d3rek (ha)hayyim (Jer. 21:8; Prov. 6:23) or ’orah hayyim (Ps.16: 11; Prov.2:19; 5:6; 15:24: cf. Prov.10:17). 6. GOD’S ATTRIBUTES In the Old Testament Yahweh is often referred to as a potter (e.g. Isa 29:16; 45:9; 64:8

177 (Heb.7). Jer. 18:2ff; Job10:9; 33:6). Saint Paul adopts this figure in Rom. 9:21: “Has the potter no authority over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for noble and another for ignoble use?” For this striking metaphor also an Egyptian prototype may be adduced. Ronald J. Williams, “Egypt and Israel,” 10th chapter in J.R. Harris, ed., The Legacy of Egypt (Oxford: Oxford at the Clarendon Press, Second edition, 1971); pp.257-290. THESIS 23 “As far as Christianity is concerned it may now be argued that, supported by the broader historical background, it had fiery Hebrew religion as its father. Egypt was its mother; Mesopotamia stood as godparent; Hellenism served as midwife. Throughout her life of almost two millennia, this Christian daughter born of Mother Egypt has remained relatively well informed about her ancient Hebrew paternal tradition-being reminded of it constantly by the Hebrew origins of its early layer of sacred scriptures. At the same time the mature daughter, Christendom, to this day has not been told about the identity of her deceased mother religion-whose theological and soteriological temperament she closely resembles. The ancient Egyptian civilization and its concomitant religiosity provided Hebrew religious tradition with its raison d’être. Egyptian theology furnished Greek philosophers, beginning with the Ionians and concluding with the Neoplatonists, with their ontological presuppositions. And Hebrew and Egyptian religion, assisted by Neoplatonism, contributed content and structure to orthodox Christian theology.” Karl W. Luckert, Egyptian Light and Hebrew Fire: Theological and Philosophical Roots of Christendom in Evolutionary Perspective (New York: State University of New York Press, 1991, pp. 27-29): THESIS 24. The Legacy of Egyptian religion “During the second millenium B.C.E., respect for Egyptian achievements in the arts, sciences, and religion spread throughout the Mediterranean world. The Hebrew Bible refers to the “wisdom of Egypt,” and early Greek philosophers like Thales and Pythagoras reportedly studied geometry in Egypt. Osiris and Isis were numbered among the official gods of the Roman Empire, and the promise of immortality in the Osiris myth may have influenced the Orphic mysteries of ancient Greece and prepared the way for Christianity. Furthermore, the Egyptian concept of Mayet ( Maat), or world order, may have influenced the philosophy of Stoics, as well as the Logos of Saint John’s gospel. Egyptian influences have survived to the present, Statues of Isis with the infant Horus in here arms are thought to have inspired the Madonna and child motif of the Christian tradition. Masonic ritual still keeps alive the memory of Egypt, as does the popular belief in spells, oracles, and astrological lore. In addition, the idea that divine wisdom or revelation should be written down and collected and that written books (scrolls) have greater prestige than oral traditions does seem to be largely and Egyptian invention. It was a popular assumption among the Greeks and Romans that books of revelation came from Egypt.”(p.53) Religions of the World (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993, Third edition). This important textbook is written by several scholars from important American universities: Norvin Hein (Yale University), Frank E. Reynolds (University of Chicago), Laura Grillo (University of Chicago), Niels C. Nielsen, Jr.(Rice University),....

178 THESIS 25 “For three millennia, from the first dynasty around 3100 B.C.E. to the first centuries of the Common Era, when Egypt converted to Christianity, the rich and diverse elements of Egyptian religion were practiced. (...)The culture of Egypt attained high developments in religious ideas and also in artistic expression. In their religious interests the ancient Egyptians created a vast literature. Their very large sacred literature included mythological texts, guides for the dead, prayers, hymns, ... and philosophical wisdom texts. (...) The wisdom of Egypt influenced the Israelite religion as well as Greek philosophers.”(pp.30-33) Theodore M. Ludwig, The Sacred Paths of the West New York: Macmillan College Publishing Company, 1994.

THESIS 26. African contribution to early Christianity The testimony of Pope John-Paul II (and Pope Paul VI): “In a message to the Bishops and to all the peoples of Africa concerning the promotion of the religious, civil and social well-being of the Continent, my venerable Predecessor Paul VI recalled in memorable words the glorious splendor of Africa’s Christian past: “We think of the Christian Churches of Africa whose origins go back to the times of the Apostles and are traditionally associated with the name and teaching of Mark the Evangelist. We think of their countless Saints, Martyrs, Confessors, and Virgins, and recall the fact that from the second to the fourth centuries Christian life in the North of Africa was most vigorous and had a leading place in theological study and literary production. The names of the great doctors and writers come to mind, men like Origen, Saint Athanasius, and Saint Cyril, leaders of the Alexandrian school, and at the other end of the North African coastline, Tertullian, Saint Cyprian and above all Saint Augustine, one of the most brilliant lights of the Christian world. We shall mention the great Saints of the desert, Paul, Anthony, and Pachomius, the first founders of the monastic life, which later spread through their example in both the East and the West. And among many others we want also to mention Saint Frumentius, known by the name of Abba Salama, who was consecrated Bishop by Saint Athanasius and became the first Apostle of Ethiopia. During these first centuries of the Church in Africa,certain women also bore their own witness to Christ. Among them saints Perpetua and Felicitas, Saint Monica and Saint Thecla are particularly deserving of mention. These noble examples, as also the saintly African Popes, Victor 1st , Melchiades and Gelasius1st, belong to the common heritage of the Church, and the Christian writers of Africa remain today a basic source for deepening our knowledge of the history of salvation in the light of the word of God. In recalling the ancient glories of Christian Africa, we wish to express our profound respect for the Churches with which we are not in full communion: the Greek church of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Coptic Church of Egypt and the Church of Ethiopia, which share with the Catholic Church a common origin and the doctrinal and spiritual heritage of the great Fathers and Saints, not only of their own land, but of all the early Church. They have labored much and suffered much to keep the Christian name alive in Africa through all the vicissitudes of history.” These churches continue to give evidence down to our own times of the Christian vitality which flows from their Apostolic origins. This is true in Egypt, in Ethiopia and, until the seventeenth century, in Nubia. At that time a new phase of the evangelization was beginning on the rest of the Continent.” (African Synod, Documents, Reflections, Perspectives, New York,Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996; p.242-243) THESIS 27.

179 “The Christian literature for several centuries, from the first to the end of the third century, is almost completely dominated by thinkers of African origin. To be more specific and focus only on the Latin tradition, for more than two centuries, precisely form the period of the first version of the Latin Bible, which specialists date around 160 A.D., during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, to the end of the third century, African writers are the most important contributors to the constitution of Christian thought. Tertullianus, Lactantius, Minucius, Felix, Cyprianus, Commodianus, Arnobius, and other minor thinkers are from Africa. What would have been the Christian tradition without them? They were before, and prepared the possibility of, an Augustine of Hippo, an African, one of the most powerful thinkers in the history of Christianity.” V.Y. Mudimbe, The Idea of Africa. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994); p.176. THESIS 28 “By the opening years of the twenty-first century, Christianity has become a global religion. Christianity has never really been a western religion. Its origins lie in Palestine, and its future lies predominantly in Africa, Asia and South America. Christianity reached a position of considerable influence in western Europe in the Middle Ages and early modern period, and continues to be of immense significance in the shaping of western culture. Yet this is now being seen as an extended yet temporary phase in its complex development. Its historical roots and its future flowering lie elsewhere. One of the most dramatic developments of the final decade of the twentieth century has been the growing realization with the established churches of the west – who traditionally regarded themselves as the epicenters of faith – that the numerical center of gravity of Christianity now lies in the developing world… Traditionally, global surveys of Christianity have begun by considering Western Europe and North America, on the basis of the assumption – which probably came easily to European and American authors – that these were the most significant regions of the Christian world. Yet the center of gravity of Christianity has shifted decisively elsewhere – to the developing world, especially Africa and Asia. As the nineteenth century came to an end, Christianity represented a tiny minority faith in Africa. By the end of the 20th century, sub-Saharan Africa was a predominantly Christian region, with Europeans marginalized in an increasingly indigenized community… What does the African situation tell us about the future of Christianity? Gone is the stereotype of western-led churches following western-style worship, as if Christianity was just some aspect of European colonialism. African Christianity is led by Africans, preached by Africans, and shows little interest in mimicking western ways of thinking. If anything, African Christian leaders seem to be of the view that western Europe needs to be reconverted to Christianity, and have offered to undertake this rather awesome task if the churches in the west are not up to it.” Alister E. McGrath, Christianity: An Introduction. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006, 2nd edition), p. 251. THESIS 29. When Africa Evangelizes the West “Through the efforts of home-grown churches and evangelists and Western missionaries, Christianity has taken root in Africa with astonishing speed, to the point that Africa is now considered one of the heartlands of world Christianity. It is clear that the Christian God has already become African. Africa is now a major player in world Christianity, and has become conscious of a reversal of roles regarding the West. Since the middle of the twentieth century, the decline of Christianity in Europe and its simultaneous expansion in Africa have brought about a reversal of the religious roles of the two continents. In a surprising reversal of the nineteenth-century missionary tradition, Africa no longer merely receives missionaries but is sending African missionaries all over the world, and especially to Western countries. Many

180 Africans in Europe see in the vision of the prophet Ezekiel a compelling resemblance to Christianity in the Western world. Due to secularization, Western Europe has become a spiritual desert, a valley of dry bones stripped of flesh and spirit. Europe is spiritually dead. It can come back to life only if somebody will prophesy and, following Ezekiel’s example, tell these dry bones to listen to the word of God: a task African Christians have taken upon themselves. Hence a reverse mission has been set in motion. It is interesting to note that African Christians have reversed the Western missionary tradition not only in purely religious terms, but also in a broader sense of bringing relief to people perceived as being in need. Many Africans who live in Europe see Europe as suffering from spiritual poverty. They regard western societies as a place where people have abandoned God. For them, Europe is a spiritual wasteland that can be made fertile again with help from Africa. They think that Europe has become a spiritual desert and conceive of themselves as bringing the solution: Europe will be dependent on Africa for renewed spiritual vitality. Just as missionaries once believed in their divine task of bringing the gospel to Africa, African church leaders in Europe are convinced of their mission to bring the gospel back to those who originally provided them with it. Thus churches founded by Africans exist now all over Europe. Missionaries are often sent by a mother church in the country of origin, such as the Nigerian Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), one of the largest independent churches in Nigeria, which has branches in almost forty European countries. It has stated its aim to build a Christian congregation within five minutes travel from anywhere in the world. Eastern Europe, too, has become a fertile area for African missionaries. A highly successful example is Nigerian pastor Sunday Adelaja, a former student in Moscow, who has founded a thriving church in Ukraine known as the Embassy of God Church. Unlike most similar churches in Western Europe, it is attended by thousands of mostly white members. A comparable trend in missionary activity from Africa may be seen in the increasing number of African Catholic priests who minister in Europe, which is suffering from a lack of priestly vocations… Much has changed in the relationship between Europe and Africa since the onset of nineteenth century evangelism. Not only have African Christians become increasingly independent- minded in running their religious affairs, in both thought and practice, but they even consider it their God-given task today to reconvert what former U.S. secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld once referred to as “old” Europe.” Gerrie Ter Haar, How God Became African: African Spirituality and Western Secular Thought. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009); pp.31; 87-99. A famous British historian, Niall Ferguson, declared the following: “Africa is in fact a more Christian continent than Europe. There are now, for example, more Anglicans in Nigeria than in England.” Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power. (New York: Basic Books, 2004); p.134. (First published in 2002 in London) According to many scholars, one of the most intriguing aspects of the history of religion during the twentieth century has been the remarkable receptivity of Africa to Christianity and Islam. Christianity has spread faster in a single century in Africa than it did in several centuries in Asia. This expansion of Christianity in the twentieth- century Africa has been so dramatic that it has been called “the fourth great age of Christian expansion.” While in the West, roughly 7500 people in effect stop being Christian every day; in Africa roughly double that number become Christian. Kenya

181 has the largest Yearly Meeting of Quakers in the world, outside the United States, and more Anglicans attend Church in Uganda than in England. J. Peel, “The Christianization of African Society,” in Fasholé-Luke, E. et al., Christianity in Independent Africa (London: Rex Collings, 1978), p.445; and Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995), p.1. “The centers of the church’s universality are no longer in Geneva, Rome, Athens, Paris, London, and New York, but Kinshasa, Buenos Aires, Addis Ababa, and Manilla.” (John Mbiti) “If we want to visualize a ‘typical’ contemporary Christian, we should think of a woman living in a village in Nigeria or in a Brazilian favela… The typical Christian in the first decade of the third millennium is a non-white, nonaffluent, non-northern person who is more often female.” Philip Jenkins’s Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Oxford University Press, 2001), p.2. Thesis 30. Greek Miracle The origins of Philosophy: A Greek Miracle? “Long before the sixth century B.C.E., there were already flourishing civilizations in the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa... Greece was mostly destroyed about 1200 B.C.E. (soon after the siege of Troy) and it remained largely “uncivilized” until the sixth century B.C.E....The Greeks traded throughout the Mediterranean, borrowing freely from other cultures. From the Phoenicians they acquired an alphabet, some technology, and bold new religious ideas. From Egypt they obtained the ideas that defined what we call Greek architecture, the basics of geometry, and much else besides. From Babylon (now Iraq) they partook of astronomy, mathematics, geometry, and still more religious ideas. Greece was not a miracle (nor was ancient India): it was a lucky accident of history and the product of many unattributed lessons from neighbors and predecessors…Many of the leading ideas of Greek philosophy, including the all-important interest in geometry and the concept of the soul, were imported from Egypt. Indeed, it might be more enlightening to view the ‘miracle’ in Greece not as a remarkable beginning but as a culmination, the climax of a long story the beginnings and middle of which we no longer recognize.” Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins, A Short History of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996; pp.7-9. THESIS 31. In the chapter on “Sacred knowledge (of Ancient Egypt) of his book The Priests of Ancient Egypt, Serge Sauneron (a famous French Egyptologist) wrote the following:

Reading ancient Greek texts, one cannot avoid the impression that in the eyes of their authors, Egypt was the cradle of all knowledge and wisdom. The most famous Greek sages and philosophers crossed the sea in search of initiation into new knowledge by the priests of Egypt. And if they did not go there, their biographers hastened to add this traditional and obligatory voyage to the episodes of their lives.

182 Who were these celebrated travelers? First of all great ancestors:

Orpheus, who, “having gone into Egypt, … adopted the Dionysiac mysteries,” and Homer himself, who visited that land. In less mythic times, Solon also crossed the sea, and his travels were described by Plato:

Solon said that, when he traveled thither (i.e., to Sais), he was received with much honour, and further that, when he inquired about ancient times from the priests who knew most of such matters, he discovered that neither he nor any other Greek had any knowledge of antiquity worth speaking of. Once, wishing to lead them on to talk about ancient times, he set about telling them the most venerable of our legends, about Phoroneus the reputed first man and Niobe, and the story how Deucalion and Pyrrha survived the deluge. He traced the pedigree of their descendants, and tried, by reckoning the generations, to compute how many years had passed since those events. “Ah, Solon, Solon,” said one of the priests, a very old man, “you Greeks are always children; in Greece there is no such thing as an old man.”

“What do you mean?” Solon asked.

“You are all young in your minds,” said the priest, “which hold no store of old belief based on long tradition, no knowledge hoary with age.”

The priest went on to explain that recurrent catastrophes had changed the face of the planet, mixing or altering peoples, destroying one civilization and replacing it with another. Having no record of the intellectual and scientific heritage of the culture that preceded it, the new civilization was obliged to begin again and retrace the entire route that had been lost. But because of its geographical and climatic peculiarities, Egypt had escaped this otherwise general rule:

But in this country the water does not fall from above on the fields either then or at other times; its way is always to rise up over them from below. It is for these reasons that the traditions preserved here are the oldest on record… Any great or noble achievement or otherwise exceptional event that has come to pass, either in your parts or here or in any place of which we have tidings, has been written down for ages past in records that are preserved in our temples.

It was thus in Egypt that the Greek historians could find the best sources of information. But this was not the only branch of knowledge that the priests of Egypt could teach to their foreign guests. Thus Thales of Miletus visited “Egypt to confer with the priests and astronomers,” according to one of his biographers, and he seems to have “learnt geometry from the Egyptian.” Geometry and astronomy are the two disciplines most often mentioned by Greek writers in connection with the priests of Egypt. To these, they sometimes added theology, when the priests consented to reveal its mysteries to their guests, which was not often. The priests did not always receive these inquisitive tourists with enthusiasm; they found them often annoying and always indiscreet, too rigorously logical in their thinking and sometimes not easily convinced, and more inclined to lend credence to the deductions of reason than to the fantastic tales of a millennia-old tradition. Having learned from previous experiences with the intellectual tendencies of these curious Hellenes, the priests attempted to rid themselves of Pythagoras when, following the advice of Thales, he came to them in search of scientific and religious revelations.

183 Porphyry (233-304 C.E.) records Pythagoras’ journey in these terms: Having been received by Amasis (king of Egypt, 568-526 B.C.E.), he obtained from him letters (of recommendation) to the priests of Heliopolis, who sent him to those of Memphis, since they were older – which was, at heart, only a pretext. Then, for the same reason, he was again sent from Memphis to the priests of Diospolis (i.e. Thebes). The latter, fearing the king and not daring to find false excuses (to exclude the newcomer from their sanctuary), thought they would rid themselves of him by forcing him to undergo very bad treatment and to carry out very difficult orders quite foreign to a Hellenic education. All that was calculated to drive him to despair so that he would give up his mission. But since he zealously executed all that was demanded of him, the priests ended by conceiving a great admiration for him, treating him respectfully and even allowing him to sacrifice to their deities, which until then had never been permitted to a foreigner.

This zeal, this obstinacy, this thirst for knowledge thus ended by opening doors that had at first been totally closed to him and winning the favor of the priests.

Another biographer, Iamblichus, tells us that Pythagoras visited every holy place, full of great zeal,… admired and cherished by the priests and prophets with whom he associated . He learned everything most attentively, and neglected neither any oral instruction commended in his own time, nor anyone known for sagacity, nor any rite anywhere and a anytime honored. He also left no place unvisited where he thought he would find something exceptional. Hence, he visited all the priests, and benefited from the special wisdom of each. So he spent twenty-two years in the sanctuaries of Egypt.

What exactly were the branches of knowledge whose elements he especially sought? Above all, geometry, “for among the Egyptians there is much geometrical theorizing… all theorems about lines seem to be derived from there” and astronomy, which he studied in the sanctuaries throughout his stay in Egypt. In short, what he acquired from the priests of Thebes and Memphis was “the very things in virtue of which the multitude believed he was wise” and in his own teaching, he went so far as to perpetuate that “symbolic and mysterious” methods to which the priests seem to have been accustomed. Other Greek sages and philosophers also came to the temples in search of instruction, and we sometimes have details regarding what they derived from this training. Oenopides, for example, learned many secrets from the “priests and astrologers” (i.e. astronomers,” in particular that “the sun’s orbit is an oblique course” (= the ecliptic, oblique on the celestial equator), “and traces a retrograde path opposite to that of the other stars.” Democritus, for his part, spent five years with the priests and “learned many of the secrets of astrology” and geometry.

As for Plato, he seems to have visited Egypt in search of information regarding “geometry and theology” and “priestly knowledge in general.” He must have met with the same resistence that Pythagoras had already encountered; in his description of Egypt, the geographer Strabo describes Plato’s journey to Heliopolis in the following terms: at Heliopolis (sic) the houses of the priests and the schools of Plato and Eudoxes were pointed out to us; for Eudoxus went up to that place with Plato, and they both passed thirteen years with the priests, as is stated by some writers; for since these priests excelled in their knowledge of the heavenly bodies, albeit secretive and slow to impart it. Plato and Eudoxus prevailed upon them in time and by courting their favour to let them learn some of the principles of their doctrines; but the barbarians concealed most things. However, these men did teach them the fractions of the day and the night which, running over and above the three

184 hundred and sixty-five days, fill out the time of the true year. But at that time the true year was unknown among the Greeks, as also many other things, until the later astroloers (i.e. astronomers) learned them from the men who had translated into Greek the records of the priests, and even to this day they learn their teachings, and likewise those of the Chaldaeans.

Eudoxus had been recommended by Agesilaus to Nectanebo, king of Egypt, who introduced him to the priests; during his stay, he was not obliged to content himself with begging the priests of Heliopolis for instruction, for as Plutarch informs us, Eudoxus took lessons from Chonauphis of Memphis. Perhaps, as had been the case earlier, in the reign of king Amasis, the priests of Heliopolis had treacherously remanded him into the care of the Memphite clergy, which was “older and consequently more learned than they,”? In any case, Eudoxus turned his stay there to good account, for according to tradition, he made greek translations of works written in Egyptian and introduced into his own land exact ideas regarding “the course of the five planets,” which had been ill defined until then and whose actual nature had been taught to him in Egypt: no doubt the “theory of the epicycles.” Serge Sauneron, The Priests of Ancient Egypt (Cornell University Press, 2000) AFRICAN CONTRIBUTION TO WESTERN ART In the introduction to his book on African Art, published in 1968, René S. Wassing,curator at the Museum voor Land-en Volkenkunde, Rotterdam, declared the following: The impact of the art of African tribes on Western art in the 20th century is incalculable. It has not only influenced Picasso's Cubist and Primitive periods, but its forms and contents have also inspired the surrealists, dadaists and expressionists. European artists were the first to recognize the aesthetic value of African art-objects. Picasso(1881-1973), Braque(1882- 1963), Matisse(1869-1954) as well as other painters, derided by the public as fauves (wild beasts), working at the close of the Belle Epoque and forming the avant-garde of the twentieth century in their search for new forms of expression, were the first to raise African sculpture from anonymity and to recognize it as art. They were attracted by the strangeness, the difference of the figures. A special charm attaches to these pieces, an aura, beyond the form itself, that was capable of describing a completely different world by means of expressions unknown in Europe. This was the answer to the search that would enable the artists to break through the heavy barriers of convention and to follow paths that would undoubtedly lead to the liberation of the individual. It is evident that African examples undoubtedly influenced the discovery and development of new styles such as Cubism and Surrealism, though whether African art influenced the singularity of these styles is questionable; however, at some period of their career many artists have delved deeply and unhesitatingly into the rich vein of form presented by African sculpture, as for instance some of Lipchitz's sculpture, which derives from tomb- figures of the Kota tribe in Gabon.. Through its vigor, its marvelous geometric forms and its evocative power, African art has taken its place, in a relatively short time, among the world's great forms of artistic expression. René S. Wassing, African Art: Its background and Traditions, Konecky and Konecky, 1968, cover page and pp.6-7

185 THESIS 32 AFRICAN CONCEPTION OF GOD Africans view the High God as the creator and sustainer of humanity. The various Spirits, in turn, are recognized as the intermediaries that communicate between the High God and humankind. Most indigenous cultures view the high God more in concrete than abstract terms. According to a number of creation stories, the high God once lived near the earth, but, owing to the bothersome annoyances of humans He withdrew far away into the sky where He now dwells. Generally, people refer to Him as “The Wise One,” “He who knows all and sees all,” “He who is everywhere,” “The All-Powerful,” “The One who fills everything,” “The Fathomless Spirit,” “The Unknown,” and in numerous other ways that suggest an omnipotent, omnipresent, mysterious, and masculine or androgynous deity. Although no idols bear His image and, with few exceptions, no lavish temples provide Him sanctuary, the high God of traditional African religion is known and respected throughout the continent. Terry D. Bilhartz, Sacred Words: A Source Book on the Great Religions of the World (New York: Mc Graw-Hill, 2006), p.377 A Vodun priest in Benin was once asked, “Where is the house of God?” to which he replied, “Here, all around us. God cannot live in a mere house made by men.” It was on the continent of Africa where humans first built temples hoping to house the spirit of God. But this was soon abandoned as the philosophical understanding increased to the point where priests recognized that the Supreme Deity could not live in a finite house. The spiritual African knows that the Supreme Deity cannot be contained. One could not build a house massive enough to contain the creator. Even sacred lakes cannot house the Supreme Being. Molefi Kete Asante, Encyclopedia of African Religion. Volume I (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009); p.xxvi A Twa Hymn:

In the Beginning was God, Today is God, Tomorrow will be God. Who can make an image of God? He has no body? He is as a word which comes out of your mouth. That word! It is no more, It is past, and still it lives! So is God.

Gikuyu Theology (Kenya): God He has no Father nor mother, nor wife, nor children; He is all alone. He is neither a child nor an old man; He is the same today as He was yesterday.

NUER Prayer, Sudan: Our Father, It is thy universe, it is thy will Let us be at peace, Let the souls of the people be cool. Thou art our Father; Remove all evil from our path.

Susu Prayer (Guinea):

186 Father, O mighty Force, That Force which is in everything, Come down between us, fill us, Until we become like thee,

SPIRITUAL VALUES THESIS 33 “The African traditional approach with its holistic emphasis has much to give to the modern world with its closed, limited, merely rationalist disposition. The post-modern worldview, which will hopefully become more prevalent, will find ready rapport with the traditional African worldview. If technology and science could help Africa to develop without becoming an ideology on this continent, and if Africa retains its sensitivity to the depth of human existence, this continent could be at the forefront of the restoration of mankind’s true humanity.” Gerhardus Cornelis Oosthuizen, “The Place of Traditional Religion in Contemporary South Africa” in Jacob K. Olupona, ed, African Tradition Religions in Contemporary Society. (New York: Paragon House, 1991); pp.48-49. THESIS 34 Of the three principal religious legacies of Africa (indigenous, Islamic, and Christian), the most tolerant on record must be the indigenous tradition. One might even argue that Africa did not have religious wars before Christianity and Islam arrived, for indigenous religions were neither universalist (seeking to convert the whole of the human race) nor competitive (in bitter rivalry against other creeds)... Like Hinduism and modern Judaism-and unlike Christianity and Islam- indigenous African traditions have not sought to convert the whole of humanity. The Yoruba do not seek to convert the Ibo to the Yoruba religion-or vice versa-and neither the Yoruba nor the Ibo compete with each other for the souls of a third group, such as the Hausa. Because they are not proselytizing religions, indigenous African creeds have not fought with each other. Over the centuries, Africans have waged many kinds of wars with each other, but they were rarely religious ones before the universalist creeds arrived. Mazrui, Ali, “Africa and Other Civilizations: Conquest and Counterconquest” in Harbeson, John W. and Rothchild, Donald, eds., Africa in World Politics: Post-Cold War Challenges. (Boulder, San Francisco: Westview Press, 1995), p.77 THESIS 35 In the African primal traditions there is a continuing witness against violence, brute force and intolerance of each other’s beliefs. The African point of view is one in which there is respect for all the religious traditions of humankind. While we hold steadfastly to our own beliefs, we respect the right of others to practice their own religions in their own ways, provided they do not infringe on the right of other people. Furthermore, we believe that religious freedom is a condition precedent to world peace and individual freedom. We believe that we all can live together in peace if we are prepared to respect one another’s point of view. Abimbola, Wande, “The Attitude of Yoruba Religion Toward Non-Yoruba Religion” in Swidler, Leonard and Mojzes, Paul, eds., Attitudes of Religions and Ideologies Toward the Outsider (Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1990); p.145.

187 THESIS 36 “In Yoruba thought human beings are raised to a divine level through the Yoruba belief in Ori (inner or spiritual head) as a spiritual entity who dwells in every person. This divine nature of human beings includes free will which is a salient belief among the Yoruba. The Yoruba maintain that “good character” is the most important aspect of free will because it is the good character that allows a person to be at peace with all neighbors encompassing the supernatural, human, and nonhuman. The importance of good character is summed up in the following Yoruba saying: “Iwà lèsin”(good character is the essence of religion). Wande Abimbola, “Ifa: A West African Cosmological System” in Blakely, Thomas D. & Van Beek, E.A., Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression. ( Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1994 ); p.115. THESIS 37 AFRICAN ETHICS AND MYSTICAL SPIRITUAL LIFE (the centrality of Silence, Mysticism and Asceticism) “Undoubtedly prompted by the demon of literature, the ethnographers who tell us of African trances emphasize their brutality. But African mysticism has its nuances, half-tones, and melodic lines. Among the Yoruba and Fon there is an entire civilization of spirituality comparable to that of the wood carvings and bronzes of Benin…

Until recently African religious practices hid from foreigners one of their most subtle and engaging aspects, the one which, by its appearances and motivations, is related to what the “great” religions call mystical life. There have been numerous factors limiting the analysis of religious phenomena and preventing the “noninitiated” from attaining the “sacred.” The African was likened to the gentile for whom Christian revelation was lacking and who, because of this, was devoted to the worship of idols. African religion seemed devoid of nobility, elevation, and grandeur… However, patient and meticulous research has been necessary in order to realize that African spirituality does not cede anything to that of the great religions. In both cases the human being is in search of a sort of deliverance capable of transfiguring fhis terrestrial condition. Like the believer in the so-called superior religions, the African is not only content to implore the pardon or aid of the divinity or do express his gratitude to him. He aspires to have contact with his god, he wishes for the sight of the one he adores, he longs to become the Other through a transformation which he nevertheless wishes not to be radical….

Moral life and mystical life, these two aspects of African spirituality, give it its proper dimensions. They constitute, so to speak, the supreme goal of the African soul, the objective towards which the individual strives with all his energy because he feels his perfection can only be completed and consummated if he masters and surpasses himself through divinity, indeed through the mastery of divinity itself…. African morals and ethics belong to a domain which Western researchers have scarcely explored. To be sure, they have not failed to note various aspects of the moral conduct of the Africans:

- fidelity, - hospitality, - sense of justice, - love and respect for relatives and traditions, - modesty surrounding relations between the sexes, - unselfishness and self-sacrifice.

188 These qualities of the African soul have also been observed in the vast field of oral literature often used by the people themselves for the education and moral formation of the young. Nevertheless, these observations have most often been buried by the investigators in the mass of conventional acts or else they have been arranged according to the perspective of Western culture, thus losing their African specificity. No one has ever truly concentrated on the ultimate scope of African ethics and morals. Yet it would have been relatively easy to perceive that the African valorizes above all the mastery of the self, making it, in fact, the foundation of his conduct. This “virtue” possesses an essential preliminary which is also the basis of African thought and philosophy. It is through the knowledge of the self that the human being arrives at the mastery of the self; self-knowledge is, as it were, the motive force behind the mastery of the self, that is the foundation of ethics. For the Bambara, as well as for other peoples of the valley of the middle Niger, to know oneself means to be aware of one’s humanity. (This self-knowledge and self-mastery is expressed in various moral virtues as well as in the stoic attitude vis-à-vis pain, in the virtue of wise speech and the virtue of wise silence). In all initiation societies physical suffering and its domination are the supreme attributes of spiritual life. In all cases a single rule governs the human being’s education; this is the stoic bearing of pain, which is felt to be the best training in self-mastery. Self-mastery thus becomes a real factor in the social integration of the individual who is accepted by the group only to the extent to which he acquires a great facility for inhibiting the reflexes of affective sensitivity. Thus the real homo socialis is a closed being; he does not show himself on the outside The “virtue” to which he aspires, and which he must practice above all else, makes him a being who is indifferent, who does not betray any emotion, feeling, or disturbance This attitude is valorized religiously. Indeed, the distance between repressed pain and its elevation to the rank of happiness and joy is not great. African mysticism plunges its roots into ethical values of the highest order... An African’s esteem for someone is a function of his ability to dominate his passions, emotions, behavior, and action. Apprenticeship in this conduct begins during the first years of a child’s life. It immediately focuses on the domination of suffering, physical as much as moral. The child constantly learns to check his reaction toward painful situations which are imposed on him by the group during his progressive introduction into society. It would be a humiliating dishonor both for the little man and for his family if he were not able to repress his tears and especially his shrieks during the trials to which he is subjected. The word “stoicism” comes naturally to the memory of those who have long been witnesses to this quality of the African soul… Among all the reflexes capable of undermining the mastery of the self, there is one towards which the African is particularly sensitized, and that is speech. The man who talks too much or who does not know how to keep a secret is for the African a being without value. In fact, the African places the true basis for the human being’s dominion over his acts and his conduct in the power and control exercised over his speech. We can thus measure the importance accorded in ethics not only to speech but also to its opposite, silence. To be sure, speech is involved in man’s life and exuberance and is the source of achievements and advances, but it carries within it its own limits. It can not go beyond certain boundaries tacitly recognized by society without exposing its author to the severe judgment of others. The chatterer is without doubt the sole human being toward whom the African is not afraid of allowing himself the right to nourish feelings of hatred. Silence has nothing in common with other moral virtues aside from constituting at once their beginning and end. It is the supreme virtue, as it subsumes integrity, courage, the power of the soul, prudence, modesty, and temperance. Silence defines the man of character, and is the attribute of the wise man; it is a

189 type of wisdom. He who knows how to be silent possesses true happiness, interior peace, and detachment. In light of this, it is quite useful to try to understand in detail the way in which certain African people conceive silence. Obviously, this analysis and the conclusions which are drawn from it can not apply in their entirety to the whole of Africa. Still, it is not unlikely that more thorough research in this area would reveal a striking similarity between the Bambara or Dogon conception of silence and that of the Bantu peoples of southeast and southwest Africa. Among the Dogon, silence is highly valued when it does not result from the timidity or weakness of the individual. It is not only the opposite of unnecessary chattering, which is defined as “speech without a path and without seeds,” but it constitutes the antidote for the misdeeds of speech. He who knows how to command his tongue avoids quarrels and misfortunes and shows himself to be the social being par excellence

He is patient…; he knows how to hold back his words when it is necessary; he does not get angry and he avoids disputes by not responding to provocations. This rare quality requires much force of character; … the patient man is sometimes sad and must make an effort to forget the “bad words” to which he did not wish to respond. Such a man is highly valued in the village; he makes the people around him happy; “the patient man has peace;” goes the proverb… He is “refreshing” like water.

The Bambara profess identical ideas in valuing the role of silence in their moral life. Speaking of the man who easily becomes angered, or who in his speech allows himself to be carried away by the fire of passion, the Bambara say “he is unable over himself,” meaning that he does not know how to dominate himself. Similarly, the man who, being ignorant of the ingenous combinations and constructions of the language, expresses his thought in too direct a fashion does not merit his peers’ high regard, even if he otherwise gives proof of great learning. Such a man does not possess real dominion over his speech. He does not master it, nor does he know the real workings of communication, according to which a message is understood by another in an indirect manner. African societies greatly value “figures of speech.” In these societies the use of implication, euphemism, symbol, allegory, metaphors and proverbs is part of the everyday technique of oral expression. This way men and women are unconsciously submitted to a constant apprenticeship in the mastery of speech. Africans value a speech or discourse richer in detours, sinuousity and in hidden meanings than in its apparent expressiveness. Speeking too directly is viewed as lack of wisdom and lack of mastery of the tongue. An African speech constitutes a sort of sonorous mask behind which thought hides obliging the interlocutor to detect the true meaning. Wisdom requires appenticeship in the mystery and camouflage of thought… One may perhaps think that aside from this complicated network of man’s attitudes and behavior through silence, Bambara culture does not possess more direct ideas concerning the fundamental element of moral life. But this is not the case. The oral literature of this Sudanese people is filled with sayings and maxims concerned with the eminent value of verbal sobriety. They also have many practices whose efficacy is a function of silence. In these two domains in particular the same richness and esteem for “the moment of silence” can as easily be established across the entire African continent as among the Bambara. Without doubt the Bambara possess an unusual way of apprehending silence: silence is not an absence, still less a lack, but a present reality, and this recognition is fundamental. Silence is said to place itself before and after speech. It engenders speech which, however, is its “mother”: normally, it is said, the mother brings the child into the world, but in the case of

190 speech and silence it is rather the child (speech) who gives birth to its mother (silence). The inversion of filiation, which constitutes the power of this image, bears witness to the profound valorization of silence. Silence is the ultimate reality, it is the power capable of engendering itself while giving rise, in the act of its generation, to the other reality, speech. For this reason, the Bambara affirm that speech and discourse – language – only acquire their full value in relation to the silence which underlies them. We understand from this the glorification of silence which we find in sayings concerning the world, the village, creation, cohesion between humans and the individual:

If speech constructs the village, silence builds the world. Silence adorned the world, speech made it hum. Speech dispersed the world, silence reassembles it. Speech destroys the village, silence makes its foundation good. Silence hides man’s manner of being from man, speech unveils it. One does not know what the silent man thinks, but one knows the thought of the chatterer. The secret belongs to he who keeps quiet. Silence delimited the paths, speech confused them.

Silence is also one of the conditions, if not the only one, of interior life:

Silence pondered; speech did not want to think. Silence soothes…., speech frightens…

It is on a collection of thoughts such as this (the fruit, perhaps, of a long observation of men and things) that the experience of silence is set against its opposite, speech. The first belongs to the category of the true and the serious; the second belongs to lightness, diversion, and confusion. The first is also a medicine capable of curing all illnesses; the second opens the doors to misfortune:

Silence gave birth to the serious, speech to diversion. Any serious thing is made in silence, but any futile thing in tumult. Marriage is made in silence, free love in amusement and noise. If speech burned your mouth, silence will heal you. Silence is the antidote for all, speech opens the door to all evil. What silence could not improve, speech can not improve either

Thus emerges, according to Bambara thought, th true nature of silence. It is tied to life, it is a source of life since it leads to the conservation of existence which it otherwise protects. Its adoption as a fundamental moral virtue allows us to detect the specific features of the Bambara ethic. According to this ethic, human conduct is oriented directly toward life, that is, it follows life’s plenitude and burgeoning, its advance and retreat. Just like life, which is above all adaptation over time, man’s moral comportment is marked by adjustment and adaptation. In this domain there is no invariability but, on the contrary, a very great plasticity on the part of man. The value of human action is gauged in terms of its positive or negative charge with regard to life. Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press); pp.5; 110-119; and 126.

191 THESIS 38 “In a single phrase made famous by John Mbiti, the guiding principle of African people’s ethical behavior may be summed up in the consciousness that “I am, because we are, and since we are, therefore I am.” Or as K.A. Opuku expresses proverbially, “Life is when you are together, alone you are an animal.” Laurenti Magesa, African Religion: the Moral Traditions of Abundant Life. (New York, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1997); p.65. THESIS 39. Positive Values of African Cultures: Moral Values and Priceless Human Qualities (According to Pope John-Paul II in 1994) In 1994, during the first African Synod of Bishops held in Rome, Pope John-Paul II declared the following: Although Africa is very rich in natural resources, it remains economically poor. At the same time, it is endowed with a wealth of cultural values and priceless human qualities which it can offer to the Churches and to humanity as a whole... They are values which can contribute to an effective reversal of the Continent’s dramatic situation and facilitate that worldwide revival on which the desired development of individual nations depends. Africans have a profound religious sense, a sense of the sacred, of the existence of God the Creator and of a spiritual world. The reality of sin in its individual and social forms is very much present in the consciousness of these peoples, as is also the need for rites of purification and expiation. In African culture and tradition the role of the family is everywhere held to be fundamental. Open to this sense of the family, of love and respect for life, the African loves children, who are joyfully welcomed as gifts of God. “The sons and daughters of Africa love life. It is precisely this love for life that leads them to give such great importance to the veneration of their ancestors. They believe intuitively that the dead continue to live and remain in communion with them. Is this not in some way a preparation for belief in the Communion of Saints? The peoples of Africa respect the life which is conceived and born. They rejoice in this life. They reject the idea that it can be destroyed, even when the so-called ‘progressive civilizations’ would like to lead them in this direction. And practices hostile to life are imposed on them by means of economic systems which serve the selfishness of the rich. Africans show their respect for human life until its natural end, and keep elderly parents and relatives within the family. African cultures have an acute sense of solidarity and community life. In Africa it is unthinkable to celebrate a feast without the participation of the whole village. Indeed, community life in African societies expresses the extended family. It is my ardent hope and prayer that Africa will always preserve this priceless cultural heritage and never succumb to the temptation to individualism, which is so alien to its best traditions. Maura Browne, ed., The African Synod: Documents, Reflections, Perspectives. (New York, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996); p. 245. THESIS 40

192 Thomas J. Bowen, an American southern Baptist missionary who traveled through Yoruba region from 1850 to 1860, observed that African traditional religions had provided strong moral values to people. On the Yoruba people specifically, he wrote the following: When a man who is really acquainted with the Yoruba people reviews their moral character, he finds much to admire and much to condemn - strong virtues and strong vices. A transient visitor or a careless observer, might make them out an exceedingly good or an exceedingly bad people, by seizing on one half of the facts and overlooking the other. Among their good traits, we may notice first, their natural kindness and gentleness. There is little cruelty and little bloodshed among themselves. They are uniformly polite and courteous, fond of friendship, visits and conversation, and strongly attached to their country, countrymen and kindred. With very few exceptional variations, they have treated all the missionaries with the great kindness. Even in those cases where they feared me as a spy or as an evil genius, they never showed any disposition to treat me with violence. I feel as safe in person and property at Ijaye or Ogbomoshaw, as in Georgia. They are not treacherous. I never doubt their word when they have made a promise. They are not revengeful or unforgiving, but can fight and forget the quarrel almost as readily as children. They have several words for honor, and more proverbs against ingratitude. Finally there is generally a strong current of public opinion against vice, and in favor of executing the laws. Hence they are remarkably free from adultery and theft, which we might presuppose would be very common. Although the women do not marry till they are eighteen or twenty years of age I have never known of a case of an illegitimate child. The law and public opinion are too strongly set in favor of virtue to allow the frequent occurrence of such things in Central Africa. It is very remarkable, that although there have been thousands of loads of goods and cowries for the missionaries delivered to native carriers, to be conveyed from the coast to Ibadan, and other places, within the last ten years, yet scarcely one load has been robbed or stolen. (Cited by Bascom, William, "Yoruba religion and Morality" in Les Religions Africaines comme source de valeurs de civilization. Colloque de Cotonou, 16-22 Août, 1970, Paris : Présence Africaine, 1972, pp.50-63).

THESIS 41 Iwà lesin (Good Character is the essence of Religion) Where did you see Iwa? Tell me!

Iwà, iwà is the one I am looking for. “A man may be very, very handsome Handsome as a fish within the water But if he has no character He is no more than a wooden doll.”

Iwà, iwà is the one I am looking for.

If you have money,

193 But if you do not have good character, The money belongs to someone else. Iwà, iwà is the one we are searching for. If one has children, But if one lacks good character, The children belong to someone else. Iwà, iwà is the one we are searching for. If one has a house But if one lacks good character, The house belongs to someone else. Iwà, iwà is what we are searching for. If one has clothes, But if one lacks good character, The clothes belong to someone else. Iwà, iwà is what we are looking for. All the good things of life that a man has, If you have money, If he lacks good character, They belong to someone else. Iwà, iwà is what we are searching for.

Each individual must use his own hands To improve on his own character Anger does not produce a good result for any man Patience is the father of good character If there is an old man who is endowed with patience He will be endowed with all good things It is honesty which I have in me, I do not have any wickedness Iwà lèsin, Good character is the essence of religion. (Yoruba Religion) Wande Abimbola, “Ifa: A West African Cosmological System.” in Thomas D. Blakely, et al., eds., Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression. (London and Portsmouth: James Currey and Heinemann, 1994); p.114; and George Anastaplo, “An Introduction to ‘Ancient’ African Thought” in The Great Ideas Today,1995; Britannica Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1995; p.176 THESIS 42 Attitude toward Foreigners (Universal Prayer) In Kenya, the “Meru Prayer” exemplifies African vision of universal brotherhood:

Kirinyaga (God), owner of all things, I pray to Thee, give me what I need, Because I am suffering, and also my children,

194 And all the things that are in this country of mine. I beg Thee, the good one, for life, Healthy people with no disease. May they bear healthy children. And also to women who suffer Because they are barren, open the way By which they may see children. Give goats, cattle, food, honey, And also the trouble of the other lands That I do not know, remove.

Wande Abimbola, “Ifa: A West African Cosmological System.” in Thomas D. Blakely, et al., eds., Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression. (London and Portsmouth: James Currey and Heinemann, 1994); p.114; and George Anastaplo, “An Introduction to ‘Ancient’ African Thought” in The Great Ideas Today,1995; Britannica Great Books of the Western World, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1995; p.176

THESIS 43 “Is African religion a World Religion? Even though the study of African Religion engages the interests of many scholars today, its status as a world religion has not yet been comfortably accepted in some quarters of the academic and Christian religious world. The tendency of some philosophers, theologians, and students of comparative religion is still to regard African Religion as a “primal” or “ethnic” Religion, thus robbing it of its universal character. (In some people’s minds, it is still identified pejoratively with “tribal’ practices of fetishism and magic.) This attitude also reduces the capacity of African Religion to interact with other religions and to influence and change the world and minimizes its role in conversation with other religions. It becomes a subordinate partner rather than an equal. The study of African Religion, from this perspective, then becomes merely a description of appearances instead of a portrayal of a phenomenon with moral power that shapes and directs the lives of millions of people in their relationship with other human beings, the created order, and the Divine.” Laurenti Magesa, African Religion: The Moral Traditions of Abundant Life. (New York, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1997); pp.18-19.

THESIS 44

The cosmotheandric nature of African ethics “The presuppositions of African ethics are not the same as those involved in natural-law approaches. The main goal of African ethics is fundamentally life itself… We begin this study with one of the foundations of African ethics, viz., the question of its anthropology, since it is possible to understand many norms and modes of ethical conduct aright only when one is aware of how Africans understand the human person. It is especially important here to understand the decisive role of the community. Many scholars, above all Western thinkers, have long asserted that African ethics is exclusively anthropocentric,

195 without any connection to God as Person (whatever they have understood this term to mean). This is not the place to examine the question about god, but two points must be made. First, the definition of “person” in Africa is certainly not coterminous with the Western definition; second, those who still insist that African morality is concerned exclusively with human persons and that its perspective excludes a monotheistic God, have failed to comprehend African thought. It must be emphasized that Africans do not think in “either/or,” but rather in “both/and” categories. While it is unambiguously true that the idea of community is the starting point for African ethics, this is not limited only to the visible community: the invisible community, which is equally important for Africans, embraces not only one’s deceased ancestors but also those not yet born and even God. Africans tend in practice to speak about human beings rather than about God; this is due to the view that one who pays heed to the dignity of the human person also pleases God, and that one who acts against the human person offends precisely this God. African ethics treats the dignity of the human person as including the dignity of the entire creation, so that the cosmic dimension is one of its basic components. It follows – if one looks at the entire panorama – that ethical conduct not only is based on the individual, but is realized primarily by means of a relational network that is equally anthropocentric, cosmic, and theocentric. Bénézet Bujo, Foundations of an African Ethic: Beyond the Universal Claims of Western morality. (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa,2001); p.35 THESIS 45: Incest

“African and Western Ethics differ not in the condemnation of incest as such but rather in the question of who determines what is to count as incest. Only then can one agree about the so-called intrinsece malum… Church praxis, which determines the degrees of relationship in keeping with the Western pattern, does not fully take account of the African situation. Thus Christianity can appear to permit and encourage behavior that is ethically abominable…

If we ask when one may speak of a prohibition of incest, we note a clear difference between many African cultures and those of the West: in some African peoples, the boundary against incest is reached much more quickly than in central Europe. In Western culture, at least in central Europe, sexual intercourse between cousins does not count as incest, but this is strictly prohibited by many African peoples. This sometimes covers all degrees of relationships, reaching even the smallest branches of the family tree. The Bahema in the eastern area of the Democratic Republic of the Cong are an example of this: they practice an extremely strict sexual morality as far as incest is concerned.

The difference between the Western and the African prohibition of incest is ultimately due to different understandings of life, which are transmitted by the very languages employed. Many African languages have no word to express what is meant by the German, French, or English term “cousin.” In these African languages, “cousins” (in European languages) are “brother” and “sister,” in the case of children of one’s father’s brother or one’s mother’s sister. Even the children of what Europeans would call two cousins can be brother and sister. Further, the brother of one’s father is equally “father,” just as the sister of one’s mother is equally “mother.” They are not “uncle” and “aunt” – “aunt” is only the sister of one’s father, and “uncle” only the brother of one’s mother. Consequently, the children of this uncle are just as much “uncle” as their father, or “mothers” in the case of daughters. The intention of this lengthy and somewhat complicated explanation is to show that language

196 exercises a decisive influence on ethical conduct in the sexual sphere. It goes without saying that one does not marry one’s own brother or sister, any more than one would marry an uncle or aunt from one’s own family. It is even less possible to imagine a marriage between a mother and her son or a father and his daughter. Bénézet Bujo, Foundations of an African Ethic:Beyond the Universal Claims of Western morality. (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa,2001); p.35: THESIS 46 Major moral taboos (in Central Africa) In his study on African traditional religions published in 1911, Stephane Kaoze, identified among the Batabwa people strong moral values expressed in four maxims:

“Te kwezya kuipâna” (Don’t even try to kill) “Te kwezya kulâlana” (Don’t even try to commit adultery) “Te kwezya kuiba” (Don’t even try to steal) “Te kwezya kulanda vya bufi” (Don’t even try to lie)

Kimpinde, Mgr, ed., Kaoze: prêtre d’hier et d’aujourd’hui (Kinshasa: Editions Saint Paul Afrique, 1982); p.30. Theologian and philosopher Tshiamalenga Ntumba DRC) identified among the major precepts of Baluba of Kasai the following four taboos or prohibitions:

“You will not kill or hurt God’s cattle” “You will not kill others through witchcraft” “You will not commit adultery against your husband” “You will not take neither the wife nor the goods of somebody else.”

Tshiamalenga, Ntumba, “Les Droits de l’homme dans la tradition ethico- anthropologique Luba: Essai de construction analytique” in Philosophie et Droits de l’Homme. Actes de la 5ème Semaine Philosophique de Kinshasa, 1981(Kinshasa: Faculté de Théologie Catholique, 1982); p.308. THESIS 47 Proverbs and Moral teaching 1. “Nnipa nyinaa ye Onyame mma, obi nnye asase ba” (All men are children of God, no one is a child of the earth). Akan Proverb, cited by Gyekye, p.19.

2. “Iwa rere l’èso eniyan” (Good character, good existence, is the adornment of a human being). Yoruba proverb 3. MWENYI OBE I LEZA OBE 4. KOSEHA LEMENE VIDYE MUNTANDA UKIHANGA 5. MATE IKELE NDIKILA 6. “Woamma wo yonko antwa nkron a, wo nso wonntwa du “

197 (If you do not let your neighbor have nine, you will not have ten). Akan Proverb, cited by Gyekye, p.17. 7. “Obi nnye yiye nnya bone” (The pursuit of beneficence brings no evil on him who pursues it). Akan Proverb, cited by Gyekye, p.18. THE DIGNITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY 8. “Munda mwa mukwenu kemwelwa kuboko, nansha ulele nandi butanda bumo” (None can put his arm into another person’s inside, not even when he shares his bed). 9. Wanthu ndi mchenga saundika (Human beings are like sand out of which one cannot make a mountain) Chewa Proverb. 10. “Nkrabea nyinaa nse” (Each destiny is unlike any other) Akan Proverb. 11. “one can indeed bear a child greater than oneself. 12. “Owo ara eni, Là afi I tunwa ara enii se” (Each individual must use his own hands to improve on his own character). 13. VIDYE WAKUHA BUYA NOBE WAMUKWASHAKO 14. “One is not born with a bad head, One takes it on the earth”(ti bone wofa no fam, womfa nnwo). Akan proverb (against determinism, and fate) 15. KALELE KADIA TULO (Let the one who sleeps each his sleep) Luba proverb 16. “Owo ara eni, Là afi I tunwa ara enii se”(Each individual must use his own hands to improve on his own character). Yoruba proverb, in Ifa corpus. 17. VIDYE KADIDILWA BULANDA UMUDIDILE BULANDA WAKUWANYAKO NE BUKWABO 18. MALWA I MALWA

198

THESIS 48. African conception of Political Power AFRICAN DOCTRINE OF “SAGE KING” OR “PHILOSOPHER KING.”

ATR: No legitimate Government without Religious Ethic

“Power has always been conceived of by Africans in the least despotic light possible. The more important it is, the more reason to share it in order to avoid the individualization that could generate social abuses and disturbances.” Dominique Zahan, “Some Reflections on African Spirituality.” In Jacob K. Olupona, ed., African Spirituality: Forms, Meanings, and Expressions. (New York, The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2000); P.7

In East Africa, the Zanj give this title to their sovereign because he has been chosen to govern them with equity. But once he becomes tyrannical and departs from the rules of justice, they cause him to die and exclude his posterity from succession to the throne, for they claim that in behaving thus he ceases to be the son of the Master, that is to say, of the king of heaven and earth… A majority of African societies have been like the Lozi of Western Zambia who are apparently terrified of giving away power, even power to protect, for once a man is elevated it is feared he will stand against those he ought to care for. Even societies with chiefs and kings seldom deprived themselves of the right of deposition, at least up to the nineteenth century; and the founding notion of England’s Magna Carta, that you could justly act against an unjust ruler, was deeply rooted here. Basil Davidson, The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics. (New York: Times Books, 1994); p.36. Basil Davidson, The African Genius: An Introduction to African Cultural and Social History. (Boston, London: Little, Brown and Company, 1969); p.75.

“Chiefdom among the Ashanti is considered an office with heavy responsibilities to the people. The Chief, called Ohene or Omanhene, is regarded as a sacred personage descended from an ancient clan founder through the female line. In former times the Omanhene was credited with supernatural powers, for which reason he acted as intermediary between the people and the ancestral dead. His decisions and judgments were thought of as coming from

199 the ancestors, and accordingly his words were sacred. Nevertheless, he had to rule in conformity with clearly defined principles, and his personal behavior and his attitude towards his subjects were subjected to minute scrutiny. On the occasion of his enstoolement, his senior councillors made known to him through his spokesman or ‘translator’ what was expected of him. (This was an admonishement to the new king to behave well and rule wisely)... Thus, as noted by Rattray: ‘To all outward appearance and to superficial observers, who included the populace, the Chief was an autocrat. In reality every move and command which appeared to emanate from his mouth had been discussed in private and been previously agreed upon by his councillors, to whom every one in the tribe had access and to whom popular opinion on any subject was thus made known.’(R.S. Rattray, Law and Constitution. London: Oxford University Press, 1956). Such was the ideal, at any rate, and serious infringement of the custom could lead to destoolment.” Harold Courlander, A Treasury of African Folklore: The Oral Literature, Traditions, Myths, Legends, Epics, Tales, Recollections, Wisdom, Sayings, and Humor of Africa. (New York: Marlowe and Company, 1996); pp.11-112. INVESTITURE SPEECHES OF ANCIENT AFRICAN EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS

(The Art of becoming a good ruler) Investiture Prayer of the Baluba:

Oh, Mulopwe, King of Bana-Ba-Mbidi Kiluwe, Listen to the voice of the ancestors, Listen to Shakapanga,

Live and reign well as your illustrious ancestor Kalala Iunga Mwine Mwanza... I remind you that your forefather Kalala Ilunga was a wise man... Remember your people, Do not be satisfied merely to take their tribute; Give them of your wisdom and of your protection and the success of your kingdom will be assured.

Dewey, William J. and Childs, S.Terry, “Forging Memory” inRoberts, Mary Nooter and Roberts, Allen F. eds., Memory. Luba Art and the Making of History. (New York: The Museum for African Art, 1996); p.64. Oh, King of the Ashanti, Listen to the voice of Okyeame, Listen to the voice of the Ancestors Listen to the Councillors Listen to the voice of the people

We do not wish that he should disclose the origin (ethnicity) of any person. We do not wish that he should curse us We do not wish him to be greedy.

200 We do not wish that he should refuse to listen to advice We do not wish that he should call people “fools.” We do not wish that he should act without advice. We wish that he would always have time for his advisers. We do not want personal violence.

(The Asante Investiture Speech) Cited by Ayittey, George B.N., Africa Betrayed (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992), p.57.

Prayer of the Asanti people of Bekwai A. – The voice of the People:

O King of Bekwai, Listen to the ancestors, Listen to the people Because the Ko’ntire and he Akwamu say I must give you the Stool, Because the Advance-guard say I must give you the Stool, Because the Rear-guard say I must give you the Stool, Because the mean and women of Bekwai say we must give you the Stool, When a sickle breaks, we put a new shaft in it. Today you uncle (previous king) lay down and did not rise up, so we have brought his gun to give you. Today the Bekwai people consulted together, and they say that you are their choice, they declare that we must give you the Stool of Aguyeboafo. Do not take it and go after women. Do not take it and drink spirits. Do not take it and make civil war. When we give you advice, listen to it. Do not take the Stool and abuse your elders. Do not take it and gamble with the people. We do not wish shame. We bless the Stool, Kuse! Kuse! Kuse! The elders say we are to take this Stool and give it to you. (Another investiture prayer from the Ashanti State of Bekwai,) B.- The response of the new king (pledge of good behavior): “I beg pardon of Sunday, the forbidden name of which I speak; I implore Small-pox, the forbidden name of which I speak; I supplicate the great forbidden name, the name which I speak, saying that: Today, you, the people of Bekwai, have taken my grandsire’s gun which you have given me; I am the grandchild of Aguyeboafo, whose gun you have this day given me; if it is not a good government with which I govern you, or if I gamble with my grandsire’s town; if I go after women; if I do not listen to the advice of my councillors;

201 if I make war against them; if I run away; then I have violated the great forbidden names of Sunday and of Small-pox.” Harold Courlander, A Treasury of African Folklore: The Oral Literature, Traditions, Myths, Legends, Epics, Tales, Recollections, Wisdom, Sayings, and Humor of Africa. (New York: Marlowe and Company, 1996); pp.112-113. Prayer of the Ashanti people of Juaben: A.- The Voice of the People: Oh King Listen to the voice of the ancestors, Listen to the voice of the people. “Do not seduce the wives of your elders, Do not seduce the wives of your young men, Do not disclose the origin whence your people came. Let your ears hear our advice, Do not act foolishly towards your subjects, or your clan, or your children. Be humble. Do not spoil the Stool heirlooms.” B.- King’s answer after each admonition “I agree to that,” or “I have heard.” Harold Courlander, A Treasury of African Folklore: The Oral Literature, Traditions, Myths, Legends, Epics, Tales, Recollections, Wisdom, Sayings, and Humor of Africa. (New York: Marlowe and Company, 1996); pp.113. The Dagomba Investiture Prayer (Northern Ghana):

Oh, Na, King of the Dagomba, Listen to the voice of the ancestors, Listen to the voice of the people

If anyone is oppressed, and he comes to you save him. Do not look behind you when you walk; Do not be afraid. Do not beat people. Do not go after men’s wives. If we advise you, hear our advice. If you advise us, we will listen. Cited by Ayittey, George B.N., Africa Betrayed (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992), p.77. An Ashanti Investiture Song (Praise song for the king of justice and wisdom) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Beside the investiture speech, the Ashanti have a wonderful tale on the sage king.

202 The story surrounds the investiture of Adoko, the king of the Agona people, who succeeded his cousin. When at the end of a long procession, the new king sat on the royal stool, many bards appeared singing the praise of the new ruler. However Adoko was impressed only by the song of the last bard, an old man who had seen during his life many kings “come and go.” He sang as follows: Our new father is Adoko, He is great indeed, But our former chief had no greatness. Our new father is Adoko, He is wise, But our last chief understood nothing. Our new father is Adoko, He is generous, Even though our last chief was stingy. Adoko is our father, He cares for the welfare of all, But our last chief did not care. Nana Adoko is here, He will judge our lawsuits with justice, Our former chief cared little for such things. Our former chief is gone He only slept and grew fat Until he was claimed by death. But Nana Adoko sleeps little, He is our good father Who watches over our affairs. When Adoko heard this song he thought that the people really recognized him as the wisest ruler they have ever known. He thought: “Indeed, I am the great Adoko. Who has ever said it so well? And my cousin, the chief who has gone, was he not truly the poorest of rulers? How sharp and understanding these people are! How wise is this old bard!” Satisfied by the praise, Adoko ordered his servants to distribute gifts among all the people at the celebration and said to the old bard: “This song, it is good. I shall make you the first singer of Agona as long as I live.” Then the king asked the old bard: “Who is the maker of the song you sang? He must be a great singer indeed. Are you the maker of this song?” The old bard answered: “Oh, no. I am not the composer. This song was made in ancient time, and we sing it each time a new chief is appointed over us. We merely change the name of the chief.” The story then concludes that when Adoko grew old and died, a bard sang to the new chief: “Our new father is Mahama, He is great indeed, But our former chief had no greatness.”

203 Harold Courlander, A Treasury of African Folklore: The Oral Literature, Traditions, Myths, Legends, Epics, Tales, Recollections, Wisdom, Sayings, and Humour of Africa. (New York: Marlowe and Company, 1996); pp.114-115. Some proverbs pertaining to government

Bulopwe i Bantu (Power is the People and Power is for serving the people).

Morena Ke Morena Ka Batho (one is a King only when and as long as he is acknowledged by the people).

THESIS 49. African vision of wisdom: African approach to the knowledge of Truth and attitude toward other religions

1) Truth is not the private property of one single religion, nation, ethnicity, race, gender or individual

2) None one can possess the Absolute Truth

The “Ananse tale” and African Epistemology In Ghana, the Akan have a tale about Ananse Kokrofu, the Great Spider, who wanted to keep wisdom for himself and hide it from everybody, but wisdom escaped from his hand and fell on the ground, thus becoming available to everybody. The legend goes as follows: “Ananse collected all the wisdom in the world and shut it up in a gourd, Then he began climbing the trunk of a tree so as to keep this precious gourd safe at the top. But he got into difficulties only half-away up, because he had tied the gourd to his front, and it hampered him in his climbing. His son Ntikuma, who was watching at the bottom, called up: ‘Father, if you really had all the wisdom in the world up there with you, you would have had the sense to tie that gourd on your back.’ His father saw the truth of this and threw down the gourd in a temper. It broke on the ground, and the wisdom in it was scattered about.

Men and women came and picked up what each of them could get and carry away. Which explains why there is much wisdom in the world, but few persons have more than a little of it, and some persons have none at all.”

Basil Davidson, West Africa before the Colonial Era. A history to 1850. (London, New York: Longman, 1998); p.148.

204 AFRICAN PROVERBS ON WISDOM 1. “Wisdom is not in the head of one person.” ( Nyansa nni onipa baako ti mu ) (Akan Proverb) 2. “The wise man is spoken to in proverbs, not in speeches (or words)” (Onyansafo wobu no be na wonka no asem ) (Akan proverb) 3. “Wisdom is not like money, to be tied up and hidden away” ( Nyansa nnye sika na woakyekyere asie ) (Akan proverb) 4. “Wisdom is like a baobab tree, a single person’s hand cannot embrace it.” (Akan proverb) 5. “One person cannot collect all African proverbs, cannot analyze them all, cannot put them all into their context, and cannot use them all.” (John Mbiti) 6. “A Fulani will lie but he will not make a lying proverb.” (Fulani proverb) HEGELIAN PARADIGM THESIS 50 “Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.” (Ex.23,13) “Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.” (Ex. 22, 20) “Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, - or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

205 (Ex.20,1-6). THESIS 51. “The heathen in his blindness bows down to wood and stone.” Psalms 115: Why should the nations say, “where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; whatever God wills is done. Their idols are silver and gold, The work of human hands They have mouths but do not speak, Eyes but do not see. They have ears but do not hear, Noses but do not smell. They have hands but do not feel, Feet but do not walk, And no sound rises from their throats. Their makers shall be like them, all who trust in them. The house of Israel trusts in the Lord Who is their help and shield. THESIS 52 “Much though I admire some of Bishop Heber’s other hymns, such as his widely used “Holy, Holy, Holy,” yet I have certainly objected to the lines that run, “The heathen in his blindness bows down to the wood and stone,” ever since I came to recognize that in that situation it was the missionary, rather, that was blind. Of course, I have not been alone among Christians in feeling restless with the attitude set forth in that type of wording…Christians have often been accused of being, and have come to recognize themselves as indeed having been arrogant and disdainful in their fundamental metaphysical view of other religious practitioners. For centuries it was Jews who paid the chief price for this profound Christian error, and the Church has fortunately become repentant, to a considerable degree, about its resulting horrendous treatment of the Jews over the ages…Much of the (Christian) Church now recognizes that its former attitude to other religious communities was wrong. It has been slowly wrestling with the question of what will be involved in setting it right; what new attitude may legitimately replace that old one... Idolatry is not a notion that clarifies other religious practices or other outlooks than one’s own. Idolatry denigrates one’s neighbour by leaving out the transcendence of his or her position…The word idolatry or “idol-worship” (as applied by Christians to non-Christian religions) must be rejected because the conception that it usually communicate is one that distorts what it purports to name… No one has ever worshipped an idol. Some have worshipped God in the form of an idol: that is what the idols are for. The important issue for our purposes here remains that of whether one applies the notion of idolatry to the religious life of all communities, or instead endeavours to exempt one’s own giving it a privileged status or supposing that God has given it that. We would do well, on the other hand, to recognize that we Christians have substantially been idolaters, insofar as we have mistaken for God, or as universally final, the particular forms of Christian life or thought. Christianity - for some, Christian theology - has been our idol. For Christians to see Christ as divine is a perception (put in conceptual terms), a perception that their own personal experience, and two thousand years of Church history, elicit and confirm. It is, however, impossible to perceive him as the sole such mediator; although one can hold this as a theological proposition… One cannot perceive the non-divinity of Krishna, or of the Qur’an. To believe that other groups’ forms are not divine is purely doctrinal construct. To hold that Buddhist, or post-Biblical Jewish, life is not the locus of God’s salvific activity,

206 fully comparable to God’s activity in Christian life, is a sheer man-made hypothesis. The position has - inescapably - no direct grounding in reality. The doctrine of the divinity of Christ is a conceptual form of Christians’ knowledge of God. The doctrine of other religious patterns’ non-divinity is an intellectual formulation of ignorance: an ignorance of the life of those for whom those patterns are rich. For Christians to think that Christianity is true, or final, or salvific, is a form of idolatry. For Christians to imagine that God has constructed Christianity, or the Church, rather than that He has inspired us to construct it, as He has inspired Muslims to construct what the world knows as Islam, or Hindus what is miscalled Hinduism, or inspired Bach to write the B Minor Mass - that is idolatry…Exclusive or final claims for one’s own (religion, theology) is idolatry in the pejorative sense… Christian theologies are ‘idols.’ Theologies are conceptual images of God. But they are not God. God does not reveal theologies, but himself. Every theology is finite, human and mundane (not divine). Every theology is a human construct, and conveys a very limited truth.Theologies are always approximations to truth. Our knowledge of God and our theologies can never be complete, nor final. So to absolutize one’s own theology is idolatry. It is wrong for our intellects to absolutize their own handiwork.” Cantwell Smith, Idolatry in Comparative Perspective. And Cantwell Smith, Towards A World Theology, p.180 THESIS 53 Reflecting on the colonial mythological discourse on African polytheism, Thomas J. Bowen, an American southern Baptist missionary who traveled through Yoruba region from 1850 to 1860, made the following observation on African traditional religions: “No man has ever believed in two gods... polytheism has no existence in Sudan, nor yet in Guinea. The objects which they worship are not regarded as God; they are not even called gods, but by other names to distinguish them from God. In Yoruba many of the notions which the people entertain of God are remarkably correct. They make him the efficient, though not always the instrumental, Creator. They have some notion of his justice and holiness, and they talk much of his goodness, knowledge, power and providence. The images made by the negroes are only symbols. No one supposes that they are endowed with spirit, intelligence or power. They are precisely analogous to the images, pictures, and crosses of the Catholics. It is surprising to me how Europeans who have worshipped images and worn amulets all their lives, should so far have misunderstood and misrepresented the religion of the Africans.” Bowen cited by Bascom, William, "Yoruba religion and Morality" in Les Religions Africaines comme source de valeurs de civilization. Colloque de Cotonou, 16-22 Août, 1970 (Paris : Présence Africaine, 1972), pp.50-63

THE MYTH OF BIBLICAL MONOTHEISM

B. MONOTHEISM OR POLYTHEISM (THE OTHER FACE OF JUDAISM)

1. POLYTHEISM? 2. GODDESS WORSHIP? (Queen of Heaven?)

Some key texts on these issues: - 1) Deuteronomy 32: 8-9

207 - 2) Psalm 82: 1-4 - 3) Jer.44:15-18 and Jer.7:18 (The Queen of Heaven)

In his reflection on the Noahide laws, Robert M. Seltzer pointed out that the rabbis were convinced that “monotheism is a necessary precondition for righteousness.” Robert M. Seltzer, Jewish People, Jewish Thought. (New York: Macmillan, 1980); p.286. 1. POLYTHEISM? But was Judaism really monotheistic? Did the Israelites, ordinary people, abandon polytheism completely? One God or a “divine council”? a divine court? Divine princes? God as merely the leader of a Divine Council? Here is what some scholars such as Mark Smith now think:

True monotheism emerged only in the latter half of Israel’s history, and was heir and reaction to a long tradition of Israelite polytheism… Claims of “practical monotheism,” “de facto monotheism, “virtual monotheism,” or even “monolatry” overlook the biblical evidence to the contrary, retrojecting onto “biblical Israel” a singularity of divinity that the Bible itself does not claim for ancient Israel. Indeed, claims for this sort of monotheism rely on argument by omission, assuming that biblical texts lacking mention of other deities may be used to reconstruct such putative forms of worship. Accordingly, to use biblical texts to ground monotheism, or even monolatry, historically before the seventh century is difficult (pp.149-150)

Mark S. Smith, The origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel’s Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts. (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); pp.149-150 Mark S. Smith is Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University.

Deuteronomy 32: 8-9 and Psalm 82: 1-4 God’s assistants (surround his throne and praise God’s holiness)

0) Cherubim (Ezekiel 1:10) 1) Seraphim (Isaiah 6), 2) John’s “four living creatures”(Rev.4:6-9)

Cherubim: hybrid creatures combining the features of humans, animals, and birds KEY TEXT AND ITS VARIOUS TRANSLATIONS (Deut. 32: 8-9):

When the Most High (Elyon) gave the nations their inheritance, When he divided the sons of men, He fixed their bounds according to the number of the sons of God; But Yahweh’s portion was his people, Jacob his share of inheritance

THE NEW REVISED STANDARD VERSION translation “according to the number of the gods (plural!)” (based on the oldest biblical manuscripts, the Dead Sea Scrolls.” When the Most High apportioned the nations, When he divided humankind,

208 He fixed the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the gods; The Lord’s own portion was his people, Jacob his allotted share. In the footnotes, this version of the Bible writes: “Most High, or Elyon, is the title of El, the senior god who sat at the head of the divine council in the Ugaritic literature of ancient Canaan. The Bible applies El’s title to Israel’s God (Gen 14.18-22; Num 24.16; Ps46.4; 47.2; esp.78.35. Gods, the lesser gods who make up the divine council (Ps 82.1; 89.6-7), to each of whom Elyon here assigns a foreign nation. The Lord’s own portion, NRSV has added ‘own’ in order to identify Yahweh with Elyon and avoid the impression that Yahweh is merely a member of the pantheon.” Coogan, Michael D., ed., The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. An ecumenical Study Bible. Third Edition (Oxford University Press: 2001); p.301 2. GODDESS Goddess Asherah and the unnamed “Queen of Heaven” worshipped in Israel Goddess Asherah (the wife of the Cananean God EL) becomes also the wife of Yahweh or the Hebrew EL, Elohim. Asherah’s sacred emblems were even in the Jerusalem Temple (2 Kings 23:6, 14-15) Out of all the kings of Israel, only 3 (As, Hezekiah, and Josiah) are praised because they tore down Asherah’s sacred emblems, including those in the Jerusalem Temple. The Queen of Heaven (Jer.44:15-18 and Jer.7:18) A few biblical writers have ascribed feminine qualities to Yahweh, using maternal imagery: 1) Numbers 11:12 describes Yahweh as having conceived, given birth to, and nursed Israel as if it were “a baby at the breast.” 2) God speaking like a woman (Isa.49:15): “Does a woman forget her baby or fail to cherish the son of her womb?... I will never forget you.” 3) Yahweh is “the God who gave you birth (Deut.32:18; Ps.90:2) Many Israelite women worshiped a goddess known as the “Queen of Heaven.” Jeremiah spent his life fighting against this type of religiosity, denouncing Judean women who baked “cakes” for her. In a rare example of allowing women’s voice to be heard, the editor of Jeremiah’s oracles reports that the women vigorously defended their goddess, insisting that when Judeans

209 honored her “we had food in plenty then, we lived well, we suffered no disasters. But since we gave up offering incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring libations in her honor, we have been destitute and have perished either by sword or by famine.” (Jer. 44:15-18) Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible (McGraw Hill:2011), chapter 15. AKHNATON: EGYPTIAN MONOTHEISM PRIOR TO BIBLICAL MONOTHEISM? Biblical monotheism developed during the 6th century BC. But it can trace its roots to Moses. And yet in both cases, the Egyptian monotheism developed by Akhenaton seems to have emerged prior to Biblical monotheism. Akhenaton and the origins of Monotheism in ancient Egypt King Amenophis IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten or Akhan-yati (“Beneficial for the Aten”) and ruled Egypt for seventeen years in the middle of the fourteenth century B.C.E., is the first founder of a monotheistic counter-religion in human history. Freud was correct in stressing this point… The Amarna religion (Akhenaton’s reformation of ancient Egyptian religion) has some similarities to Biblical monotheism in its later stages. It is not merely antipolytheistic, but also rationalistic. I agree with Freud that the Amarna religion exhibits tendencies toward what Max Weber called the “disenchantment of the world” in its rejection of magical practices, sacramental symbolism (“idolatry”), and mythological imagery… The story of Moses the Egyptian is a story of religious confrontation and the overcoming of it. The name of Moses is associated with a counter-religion that defined its identity in contradistinction to Egyptian “idolatry.” Making Moses an Egyptian amounts to abolishing this defining opposition. Tracing Moses and his message back to Egypt means leaving the realm of “revealed” or “positive” religion and entering the realm of lumen naturale: experience, reason, tradition, and wisdom. Starting in Hellenism and continuing through modernity up to Freud, the Mosaic project was interpreted as the claim for unity: there is but one God, the invisible source of all. The counter-religious antagonism was always constructed in terms of unity and plurality. Moses and the One against Egypt and the Many. The discourse on Moses the Egyptian aimed at dismantling this barrier. It traced the idea of unity back to Egypt (i.e the idea of the unity or oneness of God was first born in Egypt, under Akhanaton, and Moses may have borrowed this idea from Egypt). This notion of Egyptian monotheism is not the figment of scholars’s imagination. It is clearly stated in various Egyptian texts that define God as “the One Alone who created what is,” “the One who is All,” “the One who makes himself into millions.” Some texts clearly state that God is the million into which he has transformed himself. Million is said to be his body, his limbs, and even his name: “million of millions is his name.” However by transforming himself into the millionfold reality, God has not ceased to be one. He is the many in that mysterious way, hidden and present at the same time in all gods, humans, and nature. Assmann, Jan, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); pp.168-169; 206. THESIS 54. “To conclude, West African Religious Systems are not at all comparable to Muslim-Christian models.” Fisher, Robert B., West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana.

210 (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998), p.143.

In 1993, The American Academy of Religion dedicated its “Spotlight On Teaching” on the status of African Religions in American universities. In this issue, Robert M. Baum described the current perception of African religions as follows: “Within the field of religious studies, African religions remain a residual category, variously characterized as traditional, primal, primitive, oral, non-literate, etc., as opposed to world religions, scriptural religions, etc. What this category has most fundamentally in common is the relatively recent experience of its adherents who have been conquered by Europeans and whose religious systems have been regarded as less complex, less reflective, less theoretical, and in certain ways, even less spiritual by their conqueror. Most religious studies programs concentrate on Western or Eastern religions (southern is a noncategory here) and ignore African religions, relegating them to study by another discipline, anthropology, before utilizing theoretical insights gleaned by anthropologists in the study of religions of ‘simple’ societies to shed light on the work of comparative religionists on religion in ‘advanced’ societies. In a book published in 1998, Robert B. Fisher observed the continuing exclusion of African religions from “World religions” as a primal religion without revelation, philosophic speculations and high spirituality. This vision is also widespread in popular imagination as reflected in the portrayal of “Blackamoor” religion in the ballet “Petrouchka” or Tarzanian impressions of primal dancing around big black cooking pots or representations of Voodoo as witchcraft/misguided economics. Baum, Robert M., “Teaching the History of African Religions” in Spotlight on Teaching. American Academy of Religion (Vol.1., n02, May 1993); p.2. Fisher, Robert B., West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998), p.5.

THESIS 55 Those who expect to see in their fellow men fools, blockheads or devils, will find evidence to confirm their prejudices. If we are convinced the other fellow cannot sing, we have only to call his song “a hellish row” in order to justify our claim. Simply by applying a certain vocabulary one can easily turn Gods into idols, faces into grimaces, votive images into fetishes, discussions into palavers and distort real objects and matters of fact through bigotry and prejudice. Prejudice has created types in the mind of the public. Only the most highly cultivated person, humane, cosmopolitan, enlightened, progressive, counts as a “real European.” A “real African,” on the other hand, lives in the bush, carves “primitive” scriptures, can neither read nor write, goes naked, lives carefree and happy from day to day and tells fairy stories about the crocodile and the elephant. The more “primitive,” the more “really African.” But an African who is enlightened and cosmopolitan, who presides in the most cultivated fashion over congresses, who makes political speeches or write novels, no longer counts as a “real” African.

Jahn, Janheinz, Munt: African culture and the Western world. (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1990); pp.19-20.

211 “To induce the whites to abandon the opinion they have conceived of the intellectual and moral inferiority of their former slaves, the Negroes must change, but they cannot change so long as this opinion persists.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, translated by George Lawrence (New York: Anchor Books, 1969), pp.341-42. Thesis 56 “When a man who is happy compares his position with that of one who is unhappy, he is not content with the fact of his happiness, but desires something more, namely the right to this happiness, the consciousness that he has earned his good fortune, in contrast to the unfortunate one who must equally have earned his misfortune. Our everyday experience proves that there exists just such a psychological need for reassurance as to the legitimacy or deservedness of one’s happiness, whether this involves political success, superior economic status,… or anything else. What the privileged classes require of religion, if anything at all, is this psychological reassurance of legitimacy… Religious or magical behavior or thinking must not be set apart from the range of everyday purposive conduct, particularly since even the ends of the religious and magical actions are predominantly economic... People pursue their interests. Among the weapons people use in their struggle are ideas, and among ideas are religions as a system of ideas that justify self interests.” Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993). THESIS 57 “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea-something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to.”

Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness, in Adler, Mortimer J., ed., Imaginative Literature. THESIS 58 “Colonization may indeed be a very complex affair, but one thing is certain: You do not walk in, seize the land, the person, the history of another, and then sit back and compose hymns of praise in his honor. To do that would amount to calling yourself a bandit. So what do you do? You construct very elaborate excuses for your action. You say, for instance, that the man in question is worthless and quite unfit to manage himself and his affairs. If there are valuable things like gold or diamonds which you are carting away from his territory, you proceed to prove that he doesn’t own them in the real sense of the word – that he and they just happened to be lying around the same place when you arrived. Finally, if worse comes to the worst, you will be prepared to question whether such as he can be, like you, fully human.” Chinua Achebe in African Commentary, vol.1, n0.2, Nov.1989. THESIS 59 European educational propaganda “Now what effect does the struggle in Africa have on us? Why should the Black man in America concern himself since he’s been away from the African continent for three or four hundred years? Why should we concern ourselves? What impact does what happens to them

212 have upon us? Number one, you have to realize that up until 1959 Africa was dominated by the colonial powers. Having complete control over Africa, the colonial powers of Europe projected the image of Africa negatively. They always projected Africa in a negative light: jungle savages, cannibals, nothing civilized. it was so negative that it was negative to you and me, and you and I began to hate it. We didn’t want anybody telling us anything about Africa, much less calling us Africans, we ended up hating ourselves, without even realizing it. Because you can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate your origin and not end up hating yourself. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself. (Malcolm X, February 1965: The final Speeches. New York; Pathfinder, 1992. p.93)

THESIS 60 The “educated Negro” is a hopeless liability of the race.

The mere imparting of information is not education. Above all things, the effort must

result in making a man think and for himself just as the Jews have done in spite of universal persecution… The educational system as it has developed both in Europe and America is an antiquated process which does not hit the mark even in the case of the needs of the white man himself. If the white man wants to hold on to it, let him do so; but the Negro, so far as he is able, should develop and carry out a program of his own. In light of the results obtained from the so-called education of the Negro, it may be of no importance to the race to be able to boast today of many times as many “educated” members as it had in 1865. If they are of the wrong kind the increase in numbers will be a disadvantage rather than an advantage. The only question which concerns us here is whether these “educated” persons are actually equipped to face the ordeal before them or unconsciously contribute to their own undoing by perpetuating the regime of the oppressor…

When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary. The same educational process which inspires and stimulates the oppressor with the thought that he is everything and has accomplished everything worth while, depresses and crushes at the same time the spark of genius in the Negro by making him feel that his race does not amount to much and never will measure up to the standards of other peoples. The Negro thus educated is a hopeless liability of the race… When a Negro has finished his education in our schools, then, he has been equipped to begin the life of an Americanized or Europeanized white man…

While being a good American, he must above all things be a “good Negro”; and to perform this definite function he must learn to stay in a “Negro’s place.” For the arduous task of serving a race thus handicapped, however, the Negro graduate has had little or no training at all. The people whom he has been ordered to serve have been belittled by his teachers to the extent that he can hardly find delight in undertaking what his education has led him to think is impossible. Considering his race as blank in achievement, then, he sets out to stimulate their imitation of others…The “educated Negroes” have the attitude of contempt toward their own people because in their own as well as in their mixed schools Negroes are taught to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton and to despise the African…The thought of the inferiority of the negro is drilled into him in almost every class he enters and in almost every book he studies. If he happens to leave school after he masters the fundamentals, before he finishes high school or reaches college, he will naturally escape some of this bias and may recover in time to be of service to his people.

Practically all of the successful Negroes in this country (USA) are of the uneducated

213 type or of that of Negroes who have had no formal education at all. The large majority of the Negroes who have put on the finishing touches of our best colleges are all but worthless in the development of their people… The so-called modern education, with all its defects does others so much more good than it does the Negro, because it has been worked out in conformity to the needs of those who have enslaved and oppressed weaker peoples. For example, the philosophy and ethics resulting from our educational system have justified slavery, peonage, segregation, and lynching. The oppressor has the right to exploit, to handicap, and to kill the oppressed. Negroes daily educated in the tenets of such a religion of the strong have accepted the status of the weak as divinely ordained, and during the last three generations of their nominal freedom they have done practically nothing to change it. Their pouting and resolutions indulged in by a few of the race have been of little avail. No systematic effort toward change has been possible, for, taught the same economics, history, philosophy, literature and religion which have established the present code of morals, the Negro’s mind has been brought under the control of his oppressor… In schools of theology Negroes are taught the interpretation of the Bible worked out by those who have justified segregation and winked at the economic debasement of the Negro sometimes almost to the point of starvation. Deriving their sense of right from this teaching, graduates of such schools can have no message to grip the people whom they have been ill trained to serve. Most of such mis-educated ministers, therefore, preach to benches while illiterate Negro preachers do the best they can in supplying the spiritual needs of the masses.

Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro. (Chicago: African American Images, 2000). First published in 1933 by Associated Publishers, Washington).

THESIS 61 In 1954 Richard Wright spoke of the Idea of Africa as the result of a combination of various factors, economic interests, missionary motivations, and unconscious psychological needs: It seems that the world cannot leave Africa alone. All of Europe is represented here in Africa. The businessman, the missionary, and the soldier are here, and each of them looks at the question of the meaning of human life on their earth when he looks at Africa. The businessman wants to get rich, which means that African suffering to him is an opportunity. The soldier wants to kill-for the African is “different” and is, therefore, an enemy. The missionary yearns to “save,” that is, to remake his own image; but it is not the African that he is trying to save; it is himself... One does not react to Africa as Africa is, and this is because so few can react to life as life is. One reacts to Africa as one is, as one lives; one’s reaction to Africa is one’s life, one’s ultimate sense of things. Africa is a vast, dingy mirror and what modern man sees in that mirror he hates and wants to destroy. He thinks, when looking into that mirror, that he is looking at black people who are inferior, but, really, he is looking at himself and, unless he possesses a superb knowledge of himself, his first impulse to vindicate himself is to smash this horrible image of himself which his own soul projects out upon this Africa... The European white man made Africa what he, at bottom, thought of himself; it was the rejected and the self-despised of Europe who conquered and despoiled Africa… But today Africa is not alone in her misery. She is keenly aware that there are others who would solve their problems at the expense of her misery.... To ask if Africa can be changed is to ask if man can be changed. Africa must and will become a religion, not a religion contained within the four walls of a church, but a religion lived and fought out beneath the glare of a pitiless tropic sun. The fight will

214 be long, new, unheard of, necessitating a weighing of life in terms that modern man has not yet thought of. Wright, Richard, Black Power: A Record of Reactions in a Land of Pathos. (New York: HarperPerennial, 1995); p.174-175. THESIS 62. Colonial education and the manufacturing of a token elite

Not so very long ago, the earth numbered two thousand million inhabitants: five hundred million men, and one thousand five hundred million natives. The former had the Word; the others had the use of it. Between the two there were hired kinglets, overlords, and a bourgeoisie, sham from beginning to end, which served as go-betweens. In the colonies the truth stood naked, but the citizens of the mother country preferred it with clothes on: the native had to love them, something in the way mothers are loved. The European elite undertook to manufacture a native elite. They picked out promising adolescents; they branded them, as with a red-hot iron, with the principles of Western culture; they stuffed their mouths full with high-sounding phrases, grand glutinous words that stuck to the teeth. After a short stay in the mother country they were sent home, whitewashed. These walking lies had nothing left to say to their brothers; they only echoed. From Paris, from London, from Amsterdam we would utter the words “Parthenon! Brotherhood!” and somewhere in Africa or Asia lips would open “...thenon! ... therhood! It was a golden age… But eventually it came to an end: the mouths opened of their own accord; the yellow and black voices still talked out our humanism, but it was to reproach us for our inhumanity. That was before 1939. Now listen in 1961: “Let us quit this Europe which talks incessantly about man while massacring him wherever it meets him, on every corner of its own streets, in every corner of the world. For centuries… in the name of a supposed ‘spiritual adventure’, it has been suffocating almost the whole of humanity.” This tone is new. Who dares to adopt it? An African, a man of the Third World, a former colonial subject. He adds: “Europe has reached such a mad and uncontrollable speed… that it is heading towards an abyss from which it would be better to move away.” When Fanon says of Europe that it is heading toward ruin, far from giving a cry of alarm, he offers a diagnosis. What else is Europe doing? Or that super-European monster, North America? What empty chatter: liberty, equality, fraternity, love, honour, country and who knows what else? That did not prevent us from holding forth at the same time in racist language: filthy nigger, filthy Jew, filthy North Africans. Enlightened, liberal and sensitive souls – in short neocolonialists –claimed to be shocked by this inconsistency; that is an error and bad faith. Nothing is more consistent, among us, than racist humanism, since Europeans have only been able to make themselves human beings by creating slaves and monsters.”

Sartre, Jean-Paul, “Preface” to Fanon, Frantz, The Wretched of the Earth. (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1963); p.7. THESIS 63 When we consider the human condition in Africa, we discover that under the slavery and oppression of colonial regimes, the oppressors did not intend to physically destroy the black

215 Africans, as they did with the American natives; but rather, they tended toward the political, economic, and cultural destruction of the black man and woman, while preserving their physical labor power, which was considered a precious raw material for the enrichment of whites. The black man and woman deprived of any identity, any personality, were reduced to the state of brutes, to becoming simple machines for production. African independence has brought no liberation to the black man and woman. New structures of oppression - under the mask of assistance - make them politically, economically, and culturally poorer and poorer and more and more dependent. We call this whole system: an anthropological pauperization system. If pauperization consists in making persons poorer and poorer by depriving them of what they have, what they are, and what they do, pauperization becomes anthropological when persons are deprived of their identity, dignity, essential rights, culture, history…Cultural pauperization structures are both multifarious and subtle. They deprive the whole people of their history, languages, arts, techniques. They totally wash their brain of any creativity, any ambition, any attempt to search, imagine, or achieve any solution adapted to their needs. Moreover, they cause such an economic, social, and cultural bareness that the most dynamic ideas are condemned to die fruitfullessly. Then they arrange an appropriate space for the implantation of a cultural misery-making industry maintained by so-called “technical assistance,” “technologies transfer systems,” and other multinational enterprises for anthropological pauperization…It is in the cultural area that the anthropological pauperization of Africans attacked the deepest roots of their awakened and fierce instinct of self-defense... In the colonial system, the most effective means for destroying Africans was to destroy their culture. Several methods were used to accomplish this aim: assimilation here, segregation there, vandalism everywhere, and especially the practice of “tabula rasa” and systematic negation. School has thus been a huge industry of cultural demolition, depersonalization, and anthropological pauperization. Stripped of their identity, their history, their language, their social, economic, and political institutions, their dignity, their creativeness, the Negro-Africans have been reduced to complete “destitution as human being,” to a real state of near annihilation. The greatest tragedy of Africa resides in the permanence of this state of annihilation following independence. More than twenty-five years after colonial times, most African countries have recovered neither their languages, their history, their art, nor the huge wealth of their spiritual heritage. Nowadays, in some African families, children come into the world with neither a language nor a village. They do not even know their forefathers. Many of those children are but ghosts of Africans, speaking only foreign languages and begging from imported cultures for their food, their clothing, their mental structures, their thought categories, and the caricatures of their life schemes and their social structures. They continue to be emptied of their life by their schooling. Schools continually turn out uprooted, unemployed workers, who are even foreigners in their own country. In many countries, they are taught in school neither African languages, nor African history, nor African art… What may be understood is that nowadays African society is disabled. Churches and established governments are also disabled. Society, which is losing everything, struggles for survival... The social underdevelopment of Africa represents a fundamental aspect of the anthropological pauperization of the African person. If we define pauperization as the fact of becoming or making poor, namely being deprived of all that we have acquired, all that we are and all that we can do, we shall recognize that Africa is subjugated to structures which result in complete pauperization: political, economic, and social. When it is not a matter of being deprived of all that we own, but rather of all that we are - our human identity, our social roots, our history, our culture, our dignity, our rights, our hopes, and our plans - then pauperization becomes anthropological. It then affects religious and cultural life at its very roots.

216 Abraham, K.C., ed., Third World Theologies: Commonalities and Divergences (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1990); pp.35-36. THESIS 64 “Old views (views of Victorian evolutionists) about Africa are worth recalling because, though vanished from serious discussion, they still retain a kind of underground existence. The stercoraceous sediment of Burton’s opinions, and of others such as Burton, has settled like a layer of dust and ashes on the minds of large numbers of otherwise thoughtful people, and is constantly being swirled about. What this leads to, despite all factual evidence to the contrary, are endless suspicions that writers such as Lothrop Stoddard were or are just possibly right when they wrote or write about the ‘natural and inherent inferiority’ of Africans; that ‘in the Negro, we are in the presence of a being differing profoundly not merely from the white man but also from (other) human types’; or that ‘the Negro... has contributed virtually nothing’ to the civilization of the world. However scientifically mistaken, these notions apparently remain part of our culture. Often it is the aggressive violence of such opinions that most surprises... When our Grand children reflect on the middle and later years of the twentieth century, above all on the years lying between about 1950 and 1980, and think about us writers of African history, of the history of the black peoples, I think that they will see us as emerging from a time of ignorance and misunderstanding. For these were the liberating years when accounts began at last to be squared with the malice and mystification of racism. And by racism I do not mean, of course, that phalanx of old superstitions, fears and fantasies associated with ancient white ideas about blackness, or not less ancient black ideas about whiteness, the ideas of an old world in which distance always induced distortion. By racism I mean the conscious and systematic weapon of domination, of exploitation (...) , which first saw its demonic rise with the onset of the trans-Atlantic trade in African captives sold into slavery, and which, later, led on to the imperialist colonialism of our yesterdays. This racism was not a “mistake,” a “misunderstanding” or a “grievous deviation from the proper norms of behavior.” It was not an accident of human error. It was not an unthinking reversion to barbarism. This racism was conceived as the moral justification - the necessary justification, as it was seen by those in the white man’s world who were neither thieves nor moral monsters - for doing to black people what church and state no longer thought it permissible to do to white people: the justification for enslaving black people, that is, when it was no longer permissible to enslave white people. This weapon of exploitation has its own history, developing new uses in new situations, as many of us know or remember or even now may still experience. But this has been a history, nonetheless, which began to come to an end in the middle and later years of the twentieth century. One of the reasons why it began to come to an end has been the emergence of the Africans from their colonialist subjection.” Basil Davidson, The African Genius.. Boston: Little, Brown and Company,1969); p.25. Basil Davidson, African Civilization Revisited from Antiquity to Modern time. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991);pp.3-4. THESIS 65 “Having taken possession of Africa in the 1880s and soon after, the dispossessors were bound to assure themselves, if only for their own peace of mind, that they had also acted for the benefit and eventual welfare of the peoples they had dispossessed. Left to their pre-industrial and pre-scientific primitivism, said the colonialists, Africans could never have modernized their communities, their ideas and beliefs, their ways of self-government. Colonialism might

217 be a rough and though business; never mind, foreign rule was what Africa needed if any real progress were to become possible. The Africa of a century ago, it was said, was lost in the futile ties of a bygone age, unable to help itself….The Negro, many have believed, is a man without a past. Black Africa-Africa south of the Sahara desert-is on this view a continent where men by their own efforts have never raised themselves much above the level of the beasts. “No ingenious manufactures among them, no arts, no sciences,” commented David Hume. “No approach to the civilization of his white fellow creatures who he imitates as a monkey does a man,” added Trollope...Africans, on this view, had never evolved civilization of their own; if they possessed a history, it could be scarcely worth the telling. And this belief that Africans had lived in universal chaos or stagnation until the coming of Europeans seemed not only to find its justification in a thousand tales of savage misery and benigned ignorance; it was also, of course, exceedingly convenient in high imperial times. For it could be argued (and it was; indeed, it still is) that these peoples, history-less, were naturally inferior or else they were ‘children who had still to grow up’; in either case they were manifestly in need of government by others who had grown up….It is an old and true saying that you cannot develop other people, you can only develop yourself. Other people either develop themselves, or they do not at all. Peoples in Africa, before the long colonial interruption, had developed themselves. From this self-development had come a rich variety of social and political systems: self-governing communities, complex patterns of trade and of production for trade, valuable techniques like the skills of tropical agriculture, metal-working, textile weaving and so on. History also shows that this self-development, in all its complexity, had derived from indispensable principles of statecraft. Communities which upheld these principles had been able to succeed and prosper. Communities which ignored or denied these principles had failed and fallen into confusion. These pre-colonial principles were concerned with preventing the abuse of executive power; with ensuring that power was shared across the community in question; and, to safeguard this participation, with upholding the rule of law. Every successful community in old Africa had operated in one way or another on these principles of statecraft; and such communities had been many. These were the truths that the colonial powers, and their ideologists, had always denied. Colonial ideologists had said that black people had never known how best to govern themselves: white people must do it for them. Such was the ideological basis of colonialism. And the same idea, however muted, was also the basis of...new-colonialism.” Davidson, Basil, Modern Africa: A Social and Political History. (London: Longman, 1995); pp.265-269; and Davidson, Basil, The Lost Cities of Africa. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1959); p.ix. Thesis 66 Precolonial African civilization 1. Reflecting on the continuing exclusion of Africa from World History, Graham Connah made the following observation: “There were cities and states in tropical Africa long before the colonial ambitions of European peoples transformed that continent. The appearance of such cities and states was one of the most significant developments of tropical Africa’s history prior to the colonial experience. It is also a development that has had relatively little attention from world-wide scholarship, although there does exist a substantial specialist academic literature on the subject. Outside Africa itself there persists, amongst people in general, a deeply ingrained conviction that precolonial tropical Africa consisted only of scattered villages of mud or grass huts, their inhabitants subsisting on shifting cultivation or semi-nomadic pastoralism.

218 What is more surprising, and more disturbing, is that this sort of stereotype seems also to have had some effect upon scholars considering the emergence of cities and states as global phenomena. For example, in 1978 the Wolfson Lectures at the University of Oxford were devoted to the subject ‘The Origins of Civilization’ but in their published version at least, they contained no discussion of African developments other than those in Egypt. At a more popular level, a recent book entitled The Encyclopedia of ancient civilizations(Cotterell, 1983) similarly excludes Africa (except, of course, for Egypt) although it does include West Asia, India, Europe, China, and America. Yet such a coverage is liberal indeed compared with what would have been acceptable thirty or forty years ago. Gordon Childe was perhaps the most important exponent of an academic tradition that saw the origins of civilization as the origins of European culture. Glyn Daniel has described how he once asked Childe why he did not give more attention to the American civilizations. Childe’s answer was characteristically terse and to the point: ‘Never been there - peripheral and highly suspect’. Could it be that the continued exclusion of tropical Africa from general discussions of world civilization represents a survival of this sort of attitude ?… The emergence of urbanism and political centralization in the West African savanna has long been attributed to contact with the Mediterranean world, resulting from long- distance trade. Suspiciously, the origins of that trade have usually been dated to the period of the earliest historical sources that touch on the subject. Archaeology has until recently played a confirmatory, some might even say a subservient, role in the stock historical interpretation. It has been a case of so much historical information being available that archaeologists have failed to ask the sort of questions that they might have asked otherwise. As a result, the quality of the archaeological data available to shed light on the origins of cities and states in the West African savanna is poor. Fortunately, there have in recent years been some exceptions to this general rule. The work at Jenne is a notable example. Reviewing such new evidence, along with the older evidence obtained over the last eighty years or so, leads to questioning the long-accepted external-stimulus explanation.

In addition, it is possible that localized population pressures were stimulating social developments leading to urbanism. Such developments seem to have taken place before the advent of Islam, nevertheless, with the ideological support of a variety of probably animistic religions. Finally, although adequately dated evidence is very limited, it seems most likely that an extensive trading network existed within West Africa before the Arab trade across the Sahara was developed. The savanna towns were indeed 'ports' at the edge of the 'sea of sand', but they were ports with a vast trading hinterland that was already developed. After all, what ship would ever visit a port unless there was a chance of a cargo to collect?... It was in the second half of the fifteenth century AD that European sailors first set eyes on the southerly coast of West Africa... As the centuries went by, it was this coast that became known as 'The White Man's Grace': a name that to many proved to be no exaggeration. Yet it was neither altruism nor curiosity that tempted most Europeans to such a region, it was profit. The very name that they gave to different parts of this coast indicate their motives: 'The Grain(Pepper) Coast', 'The Ivory Coast', 'The Gold Coast', 'The Slave Coast'. For Europeans had quickly discovered that behind the coast itself lay a forested hinterland rich in resources, where the inhabitants were able and willing to trade on a considerable scale. Not only that, but those inhabitants lived in highly organized communities, some of which took on a size and density which left the visitors in no doubt about what they were dealing with.

These quotations have been deliberately selected from early in the history of European West African contact. This has been done because state development and urbanization in the West African forest have sometimes been written about as if they were developments resulting from that contact rather than pre-dating it. For instance, this is the impression given by Goody when he discusses what he calls the 'gun states of the forest'.

219 Although there is no doubt that European seaborne trade did play an important part in the later development of the forest states and their towns and cities, historical sources suggest that some of them at least were in existence before that trade started. Graham Connah, African Civilizations: Precolonial cities and States in tropical Africa: an archaeological perspective , Cambridge University Press, 1987; pp. 6; 119-122 2. Debunking the mythology of European “Foreign Stimulus” The emergence of urbanism and political centralization in the West African savanna has long been attributed to contact with the Mediterranean world, resulting from long- distance trade. Suspiciously, the origins of that trade have usually been dated to the period of the earliest historical sources that touch on the subject. Archaeology has until recently played a confirmatory, some might even say a subservient, role in the stock historical interpretation. It has been a case of so much historical information being available that archaeologists have failed to ask the sort of questions that they might have asked otherwise. As a result, the quality of the archaeological data available to shed light on the origins of cities and states in the West African savanna is poor. Fortunately, there have in recent years been some exceptions to this general rule. The work at Jenne is a notable example. Reviewing such new evidence, along with the older evidence obtained over the last eighty years or so, leads to questioning the long-accepted external-stimulus explanation.

In addition, it is possible that localized population pressures were stimulating social developments leading to urbanism. Such developments seem to have taken place before the advent of Islam, nevertheless, with the ideological support of a variety of probably animistic religions. Finally, although adequately dated evidence is very limited, it seems most likely that an extensive trading network existed within West Africa before the Arab trade across the Sahara was developed. The savanna towns were indeed 'ports' at the edge of the 'sea of sand', but they were ports with a vast trading hinterland that was already developed. After all, what ship would ever visit a port unless there was a chance of a cargo to collect?... It was in the second half of the fifteenth century AD that European sailors first set eyes on the southerly coast of West Africa... As the centuries went by, it was this coast that became known as 'The White Man's Grace': a name that to many proved to be no exaggeration. Yet it was neither altruism nor curiosity that tempted most Europeans to such a region, it was profit. The very name that they gave to different parts of this coast indicate their motives: 'The Grain(Pepper) Coast', 'The Ivory Coast', 'The Gold Coast', 'The Slave Coast'. For Europeans had quickly discovered that behind the coast itself lay a forested hinterland rich in resources, where the inhabitants were able and willing to trade on a considerable scale. Not only that, but those inhabitants lived in highly organized communities, some of which took on a size and density which left the visitors in no doubt about what they were dealing with.

These quotations have been deliberately selected from early in the history of European West African contact. This has been done because state development and urbanization in the West African forest have sometimes been written about as if they were developments resulting from that contact rather than pre-dating it. For instance, this is the impression given by Goody when he discusses what he calls the 'gun states of the forest'. Although there is no doubt that European seaborne trade did play an important part in the later development of the forest states and their towns and cities, historical sources suggest that some of them at least were in existence before that trade started. Graham Connah, African Civilizations: Precolonial cities and States in tropical Africa: an archaeological perspective , Cambridge University Press, 1987; p.119-122 3. Debunking the myth of Arabic or Islamic Stimulus

220 The Historical sources indicates that Islam had an important influence on the course of West African urbanization. Archaeology has revealed the remains of early mosques in a number of places. However, archaeology has also confirmed the historical evidence that indicates that the inhabitants of the earliest cities and states of the West African savanna were definitely not Muslims. The tumuli, in particular, indicate non-Islamic practices, as also do the urn burials of the Inland Niger Delta and the making of clay figurines in that same area. Some of this evidence might merely represent a survival of traditional practices after Islam had already been introduced to the West African savanna, and we know from historical sources that this did happen to a considerable extent. Nevertheless, the McIntoshs' evidence of urban development at Jenne by early in the first millennium, would appear to confirm the impression that the origins of urbanization and state formation in the west African savanna were pre-Islamic. The people involved with these developments must have been animists of one sort or another and the variety of non-Islamic burial practices in the archaeological record of the West African savanna would suggest that there was considerable diversity of belief between different human groups. Drawing on historical sources, Bovill came to the conclusion that trade was 'a dominant factor in the history of the north-western quarter of the continent'. Indeed, Levtzion, clearly saw long-distance trade as a vital stimulus to developments in the West African savanna. What do the archaeological sources have to reveal on the matter?... There is, indeed, a considerable amount of archaeological evidence for the trans-Saharan trade.... There seem to be several reasons for supporting the McIntosh's idea that a regional network of trade routes grew up in west Africa before the advent of the Arab trans-Saharan trade. That such a network could also have had earlier connections with the desert, and perhaps even beyond it, is suggested by the enigmatic paintings and engravings of horse-drawn chariots and ox-drawn carts on rocks in the Sahara, that have so often been discussed. These are distributed along two main axes across the desert, both of which stretch from North Africa to the Niger, axes which have been called the 'chariot tracks'. It has been assumed that these rock-drawings date from the first millennium BC, more likely from its second half. Most scholars now doubt that these are representations of vehicles used in commerce... Nevertheless, whatever else this art may mean, it is important in indicating that horse and ox traction and wheeled vehicles were known in the desert before the advent of the camel during the first centuries AD. Even Bovill could admit, with characteristic wisdom, that 'There is certainly no reason to suppose that caravan traffic in the Sahara only became possible with the arrival of the camel'. It is relevant to note that there are now radiocarbon dates indicating that copper ores were being smelted at Azelik, in Niger, by the middle of the first millennium BC. and perhaps earlier. Overall, the McIntoshs could well be correct when they argue that the rapid establishment and expansion of Arab trade in the Western Sudan was possible because it keyed into an already-extant system of indigenous sub-Saharan trade networks (McIntosh, R.J. and McIntosh,S.K.,Prehistoric investigations in the region of Jenne, Mali, 1980, vol.2,Cambridge monographs in African Archaeology,2, BAR International Series 89, i & ii, Oxford. p.450), Graham Connah, African Civilizations: Precolonial cities and States in tropical Africa: an archaeological perspective , Cambridge University Press, 1987; p.115-119 Thesis 67. The Egyptian problem and the Zimbabwe Affair. The “Egyptian problem” is the debate among Western scholars regarding the identity of the

221 authors of the civilization of Ancient Egypt: “How could Africans have produced such a high civilization? If it had been scientifically ‘proved’ that Blacks were biologically incapable of civilization, how could one explain Ancient Egypt - which was inconveniently placed on the African continent. There were two, or rather three solutions. The first was to deny that the Ancient Egyptians were black; the second was to deny that the Ancient Egyptians had created a ‘true civilization’; the third was to make doubly sure by denying both. The last has been preferred by most 19th-and 20th-century historians. Nearly all of the historiography of Ancient Greece in the past 180 years has been written to glorify Hellas and, by extension, Northwestern Europe, and to diminish the significance of outside influences; Neugebauer and his school are great exceptions here. Given this background, I believe that a revival of emphasis on the Egyptian and Levantine contributions to Greek civilization serves a double purpose. On the one hand, it solves some historical puzzles and poses interesting new questions. On the other, it removes the spurious notion that only “white men” can be culturally creative. Not that many ancient historians today hold such views, but they do tend to be working within scholarly frameworks established by men of previous generations who were convinced of it.(p.255-256). Although there is no discussion of bones and genes by the Egyptologists in Black Athena Revisited, the authors are unhappy at my use of the adjective ‘black.’ Unlike some critics, Baines and O’Connor have read my work carefully enough to realize that I have never suggested that the ancient Egyptian population as a whole looked like stereotypical West Africans. Nevertheless, they find my statement that some dynasties and pharaohs can ‘usefully be described as black’ distasteful. They argue that such categories make no sense biologically and were meaningless to the Ancient Egyptians themselves and, further, that my raising the issue exacerbates the tense situation between whites and blacks today. As I have said and written a number of times, I should have preferred the title African Athena. On the other hand, I stand by my references to certain rulers as ‘usefully described as black.’... Most Egyptologists formed before 1945 accepted the view held generally in the societies in which they lived that ‘Negroes’ were categorically incapable of civilization. Thus the extent to which the Ancient Egyptians were civilized was seen as the measure of their ‘whiteness.’ This belief has weakened since the 1960s, but it has not disappeared. It was for this reason that I have insisted that Ancient Egypt was both civilized and African and, further that its population included some men and women of what we now think of as Central African appearance in political and culturally important positions… This refusal to acknowledge African capacity to build high civilizations was not limited to ancient Egypt. Zimbabwe is another case in point. English South Africans had a specific need to explain away the massive stone ruins of Zimbabwe, after which the country is now named. Even before the carbon dating of these remains in the 1960s to the 15th and 16th centuries, it was pretty clear that they had been built by the Shona people, who still live in the region. Such a conclusion was impossible, however, because stereotypes forbade Africans to carry out such undertakings; so the buildings were attributed to the Phoenicians.” Martin Bernal, Black Athena, vol.I; p.240-241; 418. Martin Bernal, Black Athena Writes Back. (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2001; pp.23- 24; 255-56.

Foreign Stimulus Ideology and The Zimbabwe Gambling

222 “English South Africans had a specific need to explain away the massive stone ruins of Zimbabwe, after which the country is now named. Even before the carbon dating of these remains in the 1960s to the 15th and 16th centuries, it was pretty clear that they had been built by the Shona people, who still live in the region. Such a conclusion was impossible, however, because racial stereotypes forbade Africans to carry out such undertakings; so the buildings were attributed to the Phoenicians.” (Martin Bernal, Black Athena, vol.I; p.418) In 1994, recalling the way scholars and ordinary people in the West deal with African history, Basil Davidson shed an interesting light on the process of the invention of Africa: When I was young, the general orthodoxy of the “developed world”- whatever that term may really mean - was that Africa’s history could not be studied because, in truth, there was none to study. As our principal colonial historian, Sir Reginal Coupland, had carefully explained, “the heart of Africa was scarcely beating” before the arrival of the nineteenth-century Europeans. All that, today, is happily changed. The study of Africa’s history has become a respected discipline in a host of universities across the world,... Yet it is still sometimes forgotten just how deeply this European belief in Africa’s historical nonexistence had penetrated into minds and beliefs. Whenever any historical site or achievement in old Africa was found to be large and impressive, it was at once put down to the work or influence of peoples who had come from somewhere else. You will recall that it took modern archaeologists and historians more than seventy years to overcome the European belief about the monumental stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe... These proud walls, it was said, could never have been built by Africans but must have been built by some altogether foreign and immigrant people who had come from across the seas: the Hittites, or the Phoenicians, or others yet more remote. It is in fact eighty-one years since the Scottish archaeologist, David Randall-MacIver, demonstrated that the walls of Zimbabwe were built by Africans, and their date was medieval. But only the other day, when I was revisiting those ruins, ...I was accosted by an elderly tourist from Europe - but I think, in truth, from South Africa- who said to me, “Young man, who built those walls out here in the bush?” And I replied, “Madam, Africans built them, Zimbabweans built them.” “Oh, no,” she said, “that can’t possibly be true.” All the same, the truths of Great Zimbabwe are well established and accepted. Davidson, Basil, The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics (New York: Random House, Times Books, 1994); p.264. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Thesis 68. Africa, long thought of by Europeans as a breeding ground for the occult, was more than matched by Europe, with its own manias for alchemy, astrology and witch burning. In the 15th Century, superstitious parishioners often danced among the graves in churchyards in hopes of protecting themselves from the plague-while the skulls of plague victims peered quizzically at them. During the same period, Germany was burning an average of two witches a day. Europeans, moreover, were constantly duped by promises of miraculous transformations and cures. Elixirs of life, magnets to attract diseases from the body, magic potions and healing fragments of the "true Cross" were common. Even such prominent intellectuals as Thomas Aquinas and Roger Bacon searched relentlessly for the philosopher's stone, the mystical charm of alchemy supposed to transform dross into gold. Yet despite all their delusions, Europeans thought of themselves as paragons of dignity and sensibility-while

223 regarding faraway Africans as frightened primitives and painted witch doctors…The Africans with whom we have worked in the region of the Upper Niger (writes Germaine Dieterlen) have systems of signs which run into thousands, their own systems of astronomy and calendrical measurements, methods of calculation and extensive anatomical and physiological knowledge, as well as a systematic pharmacopoeia. The principles underlying their social organization find expression in classifications which embrace many manifestations of nature. And these form a system in which plants, insects, textiles, games and rites are distributed in categories that can be further divided, numerically expressed and related one to another… No society could survive for any length of time without conducting a large part of their daily activities by the principle of belief according to the evidence. You cannot farm without some rationally based knowledge of soils and seeds and of meteorology; and so society can achieve any reasonable degree of harmony in human relations without a basic tendency to assess claims and allegations by the method of objective investigation. The truth, then, is that rational knowledge is not the preserve of the modern West nor is superstition a peculiarity of African peoples… There are no peoples however primitive without religion and magic. Nor are there, it must be added at once, any savage races lacking either in the scientific attitude or in science, though this lack has been frequently attributed to them...On the one hand there are traditional acts and observations, regarded by the natives as sacred, carried out with reverence and awe, hedged around with prohibitions and special rules of behavior. Such acts and observances are always associated with beliefs in supernatural forces, especially those of magic, or with ideas about beings, spirits, ghosts, dead ancestors, or gods. On the other hand, no art or craft however primitive could have been invented or maintained, nor organized form of hunting, fishing, tilling, or search for food could be carried out without the careful observation of natural process and a firm belief in its regularity, without the power of reasoning and without confidence in the power of reason; that is, without the rudiments of science. What is true is that in any given society we find the coexistence of both beliefs in modern science and in witchcraft, magic and other obscure mysticism. It is significant that not only beliefs in witchcraft survive in a scientific and technological society, but also in the very mind of some great scientists of modern era. As Fortes pointed out Sir Isaac Newton, the very light of modern science, “held beliefs about occult powers that would seem thoroughly sensible to a modern Melanesian or pagan African.” The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries hailed as the dawn of modern reason and scientific mind remained deeply intertwined with beliefs in magic even among great scientists. The sixteenth century in particular combined the rise of the Renaissance spirit with a very strong and widespread belief in magic. The Renaissance era also became the great epoch of magical superstition. Large quantities of “magical books” were published. Vast numbers of magicians trod the countryside as “wondermen, ring- slippers, mist-makers, illusionists, mandrake-hawkers, quacks, howlers, spider-eaters, conjurors, benison-healers, hare-catchers, bullet-stoppers, sure-shots, stab-proofs, sword- dancers, love-compellers, mice-drivers or rat-leaders, spear and sword doctors. That rationalists like Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon and Isaac Newton, to name just a few among famous scientists and philosophers, held beliefs which today may be seen as “superstition” suggest at least that the tool of “dualistic comparison” between what Levy-Bruhl called European mind (rational and scientific) and African mind defined as prelogic is heavily conditioned by ethnocentric a priori. Despite the fantastic paradigm shift introduced by Galileo and Newton, science remains a field of knowledge so complex that it is misleading to use it as a fundamental criterion of difference between the alleged primitive societies governed by superstition and magical mode of thinking and a rational modern society governed by “scientific spirit.” At a close scrutiny the premises and methods of modern

224 scientific institutions reveal that there is magic in science and science in magic, while the distinction between science and magic remains itself a complex phenomenon which cannot be reduced to simplistic binarism. As Sandra Harding pointed out “most of the beliefs of the average or even extraordinary Western scientist or intellectual are grounded in the ‘authority of the ancients’ rather than in critical individual evidence gathering. Most importantly the fanaticism with which challenges to “authoritative traditions” are resisted illustrate well how some assumptions of the scientific world views are held on the basis of faith that functions to define the believers’ location in a moral and political universe rather than on the basis of critical thinking. All this shows that both rationality and irrationality are part of human societies everywhere in the world and cannot be essentialized as the distinctive label of quality of the “superior races.” It is because of ethnocentrism and tribal ways of thinking that rationality has been turned into a private property of one single group. Reference: Harding, Sandra, The Science Question in Feminism. (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1986); pp.184-85. Davidson, Basil, The African Genius (Boston,London: Little, Brown, and Company, 1969); p.125. Davidson, Basil, African Kingdoms, New York: Time-Life Books; 1966; p.105. Griaule, Marcel, Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas. ( Oxford: oxford University Press, 1965); p.xiv. Wiredu, J.E., “How not to compare African Thought with Western Thought.” in Wright, Richard A., ed., African Philosophy: An Introduction. (Washington DC., 1979), 137. Nader, Laura, ed., Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiry into Boundaries, Power, and Knowledge. (New York: Routledge, 1996); p.259.

Thesis 69 Colonialist and racist scholars continue to reject the evidence that proves the existence of serious science in traditional Africa. For conservative scholars such as D’Souza the claims made by Van Sertima, Na’im Akbar, and Chancellor Williams, that Africans had a knowledge of vaccines, tetracycline, Caesarean surgery, are nothing else than the expression of the misguided zeal of Afrocentric ideologues. And yet the accomplishments of Africans in science and technology is widely acknowledged not only by “Afrocentrists” but also by important Western scientists and scholars who genuinely investigated the matter. In a recent study on languages as vehicle of knowledge, Daniel Nettle and Suzanne Romaine remind the scientific community that traditional Africa was not alien to the scientific spirit which is clearly expressed in various forms of local technology:

It is not widely known that African peoples had been producing carburized steel for tools and weapons for hundreds of years before colonial contact. The ores were local laterites and other minerals. Furnaces were charcoal-fired and used ingenious combinations of shape and leather bellows to achieve the necessary flows of air. The industry of the Kpelle people of Liberia was particularly advanced, since iron was mixed with other ores (mainly manganese) to produce a rust-resistance, high-strength product... Being also farmers themselves, traditional smiths produce dozens of different types of hoes, each suited to particular types of crop and soil. These designs are in greater demand than the imported products... Traditional African steelmaking is either extinct or on the decline in most areas, with metals now imported from abroad...Colonial authorities in some areas deliberately suppressed indigenous metallurgy, fearful of competition for their imports and the production of weapons.

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Scholars are now aware of the African steel-smelting in Tanzania 1,500-2000 years ago, an astronomical observatory in Kenya 300 years before Christ, the cultivation of cereals and other crops by Africans in the Nile Valley 7,000 years before any other civilization, the domestication of cattle in Kenya 15,000 years ago, the domestic use of fire by Africans 1,400,000 years ago (one million years before its first known use in China), etc. In 1978, two professors of Brown University, Peter Schmidt (an anthropology professor) and Donald Avery (a professor of engineering) announced to the world an important discovery which challenged radically the dominant conception of the state of technology in pre-colonial Africa:

We have found a technological process in the African Iron Age which is exceedingly complex... To be able to say that a technologically superior culture developed in Africa more than 1,500 years ago overturns popular and scholarly ideas that technological sophistication developed in Europe but not in Africa.

The discovery was about Metallurgy in Pre-colonial Africa. Africans who lived in Tanzania, on the shores of Lake Victoria, had produced carbon steel, between 1,500 and 2000 years ago, using pre-heated forced-draft furnaces, a method that was technologically more sophisticated than any developed in Europe until the mid-19th century. Schmidt and Avery who dug 13 Iron Age furnaces in their excavation near Lake Victoria observed that the temperature achieved in the blast furnace of the African steel-smelting machine was higher than any achieved in an European machine until modern times. This temperature was roughly 1,800 C, that is 200 to 400 C higher than the highest reached in Europe where the record was only 1,600 C in an experimental 2nd century Roman shaft furnace. While European smelting process used the “sintering of solid particles,” the African process used an original and more advanced system making steel through the formation of iron crystals as professor Avery commented:

It’s a very unique process that uses a large number of sophisticated techniques. This is really semi-conductor technology-the growing of crystals-not iron-smelting technology.

Peter Schmidt and Donald Avery’s understanding of African technology illustrate well the paradigm shift which is currently on the way in the perception of the relationship between science and the “African spirit.” This is not a superficial revision of the history of science. The products of African metallurgy can still be seen today in various Western museums, mainly in British Museum of London and the Metropolitan Museum of New York. In the field of African traditional medicine, there is the famous example of African surgery which was documented by R.W.Felkin, a missionary doctor who sojourned in Africa by the end of the 19th century and whose report was published in the Edinburgh Medical Journal of 1884. Doctor Felkin who was an eye-witness the the Caesarean section performed by a Banyoro surgeon in Uganda in 1879 described the procedure as follows:

The (African) surgeon was standing on her left side holding the knife aloft and muttering and incantation. He then washed his hands and the patient’s abdomen first with banana wine and then water. The surgeon made a quick cut upwards from just above the pubis to just below the umbilicus severing the whole abdominal wall and uterus so that amniotic fluid escaped. Some bleeding points in the abdominal wall were touched with red hot irons. The surgeon completed the uterine incision, the

226 assistant helping by holding up the sides of the abdominal wall with his hand and hooking two fingers into the uterus. The child was removed, the cord cut, and the child was handed to an assistant.

After the surgery, so says the report, the peritoneum, the abdominal wall, and the skin were approximated back together and secured with seven sharp spikes. A root paste was applied over the wound and a bandage of cloth was tightly wrapped around it. The healing occurred quickly because within six days, all the spikes were removed. Felkin reports that he observed the patient for eleven days, and when he left Africa, the mother and her child were alive and well. As Felkin described the procedure, it appears that African surgeon at that time were already using antisepsis and anaesthesia from various plants. This African technique of surgery can be well appreciated when we realize the state of surgery at that time in Europe, mainly the rare practice of Caesarean section. Among many other documented cases, there is the situation of a man who had had his abdomen ripped open by an elephant in Nigeria. A traditional surgeon replaced the intestines in the abdominal cavity and sutured together the overlying abdominal wall and skin. The man recovered very quickly and was soon back working on a road gang. With accidents in hunting and people wounded in wars, traditional African doctors developed their skills in surgery procedures. The Masai surgeons, for example, were well known to successfully treat pleurisy and pneumoritis by creating a partial collapse of the lung by drilling holes into the chest of the sufferer. Concerning the issue of method in the diagnosis and cure of various diseases, some physicians who studied the case carefully concluded that traditional doctors had an approach pretty similar to what some consider today as the scientific approach of modern Western medicine:

Many Western-trained doctors concede that the traditional medical experts have a profound knowledge of the human body and anatomy. This is demonstrated by a usually careful diagnosis beginning with a history of the disease followed by a thorough physical examination... He palpates the different parts and looks for tender spots. He feels the beating of the heart, the position of the inner organs, checks the eyes and ears, and smells the mouth for bad breath.

In this traditional Africa where autopsies were also often practiced, it appears clearly that traditional doctors had a sufficient knowledge of anatomy and physiology. Their approach to medicine which exhibit a clear spirit of clinical investigation is far from the simplistic view promoted by anthropologists about “witch-doctors.” Traditional medicine was neither a product of religious obscurantism, nor an insecure path of ignorant guesses. It was based on a careful examination of nature which led to a fairly good understanding of human anatomy and the virtues of plants. The perception of African medicine as a farrago of savage fancies and fogs of superstition is one of the potent legacies of the Hegelian paradigm which by renaming the reality trivialized African intelligence and practices which understood human health problems in a holistic way by integrating empirical diagnosis and herbal medicine with psychotherapy and psycho-spiritual cure. Reference: D’Souza, Dinesh, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society. (New York: The Free Press, 1995); pp.373-74. Sertima, Ivan Van, ed., Blacks in Science: ancient and modern (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1992); p.148. Nettle, Daniel and Romaine, Suzanne, Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); p.167.

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THESIS 70 “Following the example of Paul, the church became Greek with the Greek world and barbarian with the European barbarian world. However, it has not become Arabic with the Arabs, black with the blacks, Indian with the Indians, or Chinese with the Chinese. Viewed as a whole, the Church of Jesus Christ has remained a European-American affair… The Church must be inculturated throughout the world if it is to be a World Church... This, then, is the issue: either the Church sees and recognizes these essential differences of other cultures for which she should become a world Church and with a Pauline and with a Pauline boldness draws the necessary consequence from this recognition, or she remains a Western Church and so in the final analysis betrays the meaning of Vatican II.”

Küng, Hans, Concile et retour à l’unité (Paris: Cerf, 1961), pp.14-15. in Kofi Appiah-Kubi, and Sergio Torres, eds., African theology en route. (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1979), p.26. Karl Rahner, “Towards a Fundamental Theological Interpretation of Vatican II,” in Theological Studies, 40, 4 (December 1979): 718, 724. THESIS 71:

Africans have become aware of the irrelevancy of North Atlantic theology to the African situation; for example, they have read European theologians and know how some of them opposed the violence of the two world wars. But none of these theologians, not even Karl Barth, despite his stance against the naked aggression and violence of Nazi Germany, addressed the issue of colonial violence and military oppression against African people.

Emmanuel Martey, African Theology: Inculturation and Liberation. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1993; p.8. THESIS 72. Colonial Christianity

“The churches of the West are a segment of the capitalist world. They suffer from the alienations and ills of the society of which they are integral parts, and to which they spontaneously conform. They exhibit the same will to power, the same spiritual self-satisfaction that springs from wealth, the same idolatry of victorious strength, material success, and ‘apostolic profit,’ the same rejection of other ways of being human, and all the rest. Only the irreducible existence of other ‘worlds’ can deliver these churches from these passions…

Applying to Africa the classical method of theological inquiry, as fides quaerens intellectum which encourages Christians to avoid "blind faith" and to use their reason to understand, justify, and explain their faith, we have tested the credibility of Christianity in Africa and found it wanting. As “thinking Christians” we are called in the tradition of Hebrew prophets to denounce and criticizes the alienating side of Christianity as practiced under colonial and neocolonial influence in Africa.

The first thing that strikes an observer of Christian missionaries is how they delight in mocking African religion and way of life. To understand the nature of the Christianity brought by European missionaries from Western powerful nations we must understand concepts such as “Christianity of empire”, “Bourgeois Christianity,” “African resistance to middle-class Christianity,” “Revelation and domination,” “Alienation,” “Estrangement,” and “Power.” It is crucial to understand how the inner logic of Christian notion of Revelation and its concomitant theology of world history exclude African reality as totally evil and anhistorical. Indeed, in Africa Revelation functions as a tool of domination and exclusion. It imposes a total monologue. One has to understand the strategies used to dominate and exploit people in the name of Christianity

229 and a God of Love. We must go to the roots of the Christian malaise; we must deconstructs the inner logic of Evangelization as practiced in Africa by challenging Rome and the European- American theological axis that still dominate theological discourse in the Christian world. The fundamental question of “power sharing” and the implication of Christianity in the neocolonial process must be properly addressed. Western missionaries are used to see Evangelization only as a civilizing enterprise, a charity that saves Africans from their alleged “immorality,” their “evil traditions” and their material misery. The only thing they expect from African people is an attitude of docility, total submission and gratitude that should extend even to the missionaries’ parents and to the mother countries of Europe. In order to control the revolutionary spirit of the African theology instilled by the Negritude Movement and the political ideology of PanAfricanism, Western missionaries found a way of controlling African theology by getting involved in the process and deviating the theological quest toward some superficial issues. Under the guidance of Western missionaries working in Africa, African theology is reduced to a folkloric inculturation that focuses the theological thinking on African songs and dances in the Church. This Inculturation theology of drums and masks is useless for the lives of African people. What should really be at stake in the Inculturation debate is not the “winning” or “losing” of African people for Christianity, nor the concern for “Church growth”, nor even the rediscovery of some supposed “essence of Christianity,” but the credibility of Christianity in the light of the life of African people as agents of their destiny. Thus, where missionaries see only “love,” and “the will of God,” we see “domination” and “violence.” Our point of departure is a situation of violence. By violence, we mean the violence of the Christian “theological language” which vilifies African culture, history and religious worldview as primitive or satanic. This translates the involvement of Christianity in the process of alienating African people. The scandal is that “the dominant religion creates poor in order to evangelize them, holding itself out as the means to human advancement. Christianity of empire imposes itself only by tearing up its converts by the roots, out of where-they-live, out of their being-in-the-world, presenting them with the Faith only at the price of depriving them of their capacity to generate the material and spiritual conditions of their existence. In the missionary logic, the dominated Africans have to find the truth only outside themselves, as the utterly-other-from-themselves-and-their-universe. Thus, in Africa, conversions have created not a people, but crowds of people alienated and oppressed. In order to grasp the argument here at stake, we should remember first that the Christianity mounting the African shore under the umbrella of Western nations is that of “bourgeois society; and secondly, that, in Africa, Evangelization operates by ways of institutionalizing a “dominator-dominated” relationship. Such a power relationship generates among African people, manners, modes, and mores that are heterogeneous. In Africa, the praxis of Evangelization is the suppression of one’s “sense of situation” and the evasion of the obligation to take oneself in one’s own charge, and in so doing, Christianity functions in Africa as the negation of the pagan’s living space and time. It is based on the method of extirpation which is a mode of disorientation by disjunction, disorientation via the suppression of one’s points of reference. The inner logic of Christianity perceiving itself as the only valid way of salvation, truth and rationality disqualifies African way of being as totally evil and irrelevant. Missionary discourse and practice use a specific strategy that involves a language of “derision, ” “refutation,” “demonstration,” “orthodoxy,” and “conformity.” Even converted Africans are not perceived as being equal to Europeans. In other words, the faith of the colonial protégé is an effect of domination. It is a faith under tutelage, a faith by proxy. It is the native’s state of subjugation, dramatized as if for the theater. The Christian notion of history is altogether clear and simple: “a pagan past is wholly and entirely distress. The degradation of paganism goes without saying, just as does the superiority of Christianity.” The converts are to live in borrowed space which imposes a strange and unfamiliar personhood to which they must conform. The missionary education system avoids to foster the sense of autonomy and freedom in the African people, it substitutes for the African space a new one, more abstract, or even totally chimerical

230 living space. The African past is completely denied unless it be a past of wandering which should be preserved in memory as an occasion of gratitude to God for being liberated from evil. In such a context, it was inevitable that Christianity would encounter resistance.

Eboussi Boulaga, F., Christianity without Fetishes: An African critique and recapture of Christianity. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1984).

THESIS 73. The role of Christian missionaries in the colonial enterprise “Three major figures, from the fifteenth century to the end of the nineteenth,

determined modalities and the pace of mastering, colonizing, and transforming the “Dark Continent”: the explorer, the soldier, and the missionary… Of all “these bearers of the African burden,” the missionary was, paradoxically, the best symbol of the colonial enterprise. He devoted himself sincerely to the ideals of colonialism: the expansion of Civilization, the dissemination of Christianity, and the advance of Progress. With equal enthusiasm, he served as an agent of a political empire, a representative of a civilization, and an envoy of God… As A.J. Christopher rightly observed “missionaries, possibly more than members of other branches of the colonial establishment, aimed at the radical transformation of indigenous society… They therefore sought, whether consciously or unconsciously, the destruction of pre-colonial societies and their replacement by new Christian societies in the image of Europe.”…

The missionary played an essential role in the general process of expropriation and, subsequently, exploitation of all the “new found lands” upon the earth. As G. Williams puts it, if in many areas his presence “helped to soften the harshness of European impact on the indigenous peoples whose lands were invaded and exploited,” his “fervour was allied, rather than opposed to commercial motive.” The scramble for Africa in the nineteenth century took place in an atmosphere of Christian revival: the age of Enlightenment and its criticism of religion had ended…

The more carefully one studies the history of missions in Africa, the more difficult it becomes not to identify it with cultural propaganda, patriotic motivations, and commercial interests, since the missions’ program is indeed more complex than the simple transmission of the Christian faith. From the sixteenth century to the eighteenth, missionaries were, through all the “new worlds,” part of the political process of creating and extending the right of European sovereignty over “newly discovered lands. In doing so, they obeyed the “sacred instructions” of Pope Alexander VI in his bull Inter Caetera (1493): to overthrow paganism and establish the Christian faith in all barbarous nations. The bulls of Nicholas V – Dum Diversas (1452) and Romanus Pontifex (1455) – had indeed already given the kings of Portugal the right to dispossess and eternally enslave Mahometans, pagans, and black peoples in general. Dum Diversas clearly stipulates this right to invade, conquer, expel, and fight Muslims, pagans, and other enemies of Christ wherever they may be. Christian kings, following the Pope’s decisions could occupy pagan kingdoms, principalities, lordships, possessions and dispossess them of their personal property, land, and whatever they might have. The king and his successors have the power and right to put these peoples into perpetual slavery. The missionaries, preceding or

231 following a European flag, not only helped their home country to acquire new lands but also accomplished a “divine” mission ordered by the Holy Father, Dominator Dominus. It was in God’s name that the Pope considered the planet his franchise and established the basic principles of terra nullius (nobody’s land), which denies non-Christian natives the right to an autonomous political existence and the right to own or to transfer ownership.

V.Y. Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa. Gnosis, Philosophy, and the order of knowledge. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988); pp.45-47.

Thesis 74

“In the nineteenth century, the order of the day practically everywhere was the anti-slavery struggle. Yesterday the slaves had been baptized; today they were emancipated before being baptized, and freedom villages were founded. At Freetown, Libreville, Bagamoyo, philanthropy wrought wonders... Africa emerged from slavery, only to be plunged into colonization. The Berlin Conference of 1884-85 partitioned Africa into some thirty territories, or groups of territories, for exploitation and administration. The representatives of the states of Europe and America, invited by Bismarck to Berlin, regarded the blacks as minor children in need of the tutelage of whites. The colonial pact, finally, and the “indigenate,” or “native protectorate, established in Africa in the name of human rights, stripped our peoples of any rights or dignity... It was in the desert of this desolation of ours that the voice of the missionary resounded. Practically everywhere, the missionary was the ally of the colonizer, if an ally that the latter sometimes feared.. When Germany lost its colonies in 1919 did not the German missionary congregations depart, along with their administrators, and did not the French, Belgian and British arrive in the same ships with their new administrators? And when Italy conquered Ethiopia how many Italian congregations suddenly discovered a missionary vocation in Ethiopia? ... And this is how it went. It was not at all strange to hear natives speak of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide as the ministry of colonies of the Vatican or the spiritual ministry of colonies of Europe.” Mveng, Engelbert, “La rentrée de l’Afrique dans l’Eglise,” in Parole et Mission, 12

(1969), pp.366-67. And Henry, A., “La mission sans frontières,” in Parole et Mission, 8 (1965), pp.215 f. THESIS 75. Mariology and the colonial ideology of imperialist Christianity One example of the way in which Marian spirituality has been evolving in the Catholic Church is found in the apparitions of Mary. Generally the apparitions reveal the conditioning of Christians at a given time and place. For instance, at Lourdes, Mary appears to Bernadette and speaks of herself as the Immaculate Conception, but she does not say anything about the conditions of the working class in France of the day. The apparition occurred during the heyday of the growth of industrial capitalism in Western Europe, and the working class was being

232 severely exploited. Mary as the mother of all, and especially as a woman of the working class, should have felt these social evils to be a grave injustice. Much less did Mary, appearing in Lourdes, even hint at the enormous harm being done in Africa by French military and economic expansion in the colonial empire. It would be interesting to know whether Mary ever appeared to British Christians to challenge them concerning the British presence in Ireland or in India. Why was Mary of Lourdes incapable of enlightening French Christians concerning the atrocities being committed in Africa by their compatriots? These atrocities were committed almost in alliance with the Christian Churches. We note instead how Marian spirituality ignored such important aspects of Christian witness. However, if Bernadette had spoken of such things as the rights of French workers or of the African peoples, the shrine of Lourdes would probably not have developed in the manner it has during the last one and a quarter centuries. Mary appeared in Fatima in 1917, the year of the communist revolution in Russia. The message of Fatima was regarded as a warning against atheistic communism and its threat to the world. At the same time, however, Portugal was exploiting Africans in Angola and Mozambique. Yet Mary seemed to say nothing about the internal and external evils of the ruling Portuguese regime. This Mary, who comes to us in apparitions, and who is accepted by the dominant establishment, is not a liberating Mary. She speaks of sin and prayer and their significance in the Church and the world. Such Marian apparitions do not communicate to women the sense of their dignity and rights. Services at Marian shrines are usually dominated by male clergy, and women are the recipients of advice and benedictions. The consciousness of Mary as an adult lay woman and mother, who participated actively in the work of Jesus, and in the mission of the early Church, is not conveyed by these apparitions nor the devotions associated with them. Thus Marian devotions still have, by and large, a domesticating impact on women and the laity. Religious women, too, are not helped by them to acquire a greater sense of their dignity, responsibilities and rights in the Church and in society. The male-dominated, patriarchal, salvation-oriented theology of the period from Augustine to Vatican II still pervades much of the Marian piety of Sri Lanka. There are a few changes, but very much more can be done to present Mary as she is seen in the Gospels, and in a manner relevant to today’s struggles. The Marian shrines, which are numerous and popular in Sri Lanka, have a similar impact. A shrine like Madhu has the effect of bringing Sri Lankans of different races together, and this can make a valuable social contribution. But many of the devotions are as described above. The hymns and prayers at the novenas of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Our Lady of Fatima and the Miraculous Medal encourage largely individualistic piety. Marian devotions - hymns and prayers and litanies - do not encourage the laity to penitence characterized by a concern for humanity and justice. This is quite different from the focus of the Mary of the Gospels. Similarly, Mary, who is said to have given the rosary to Christians, is claimed to have been on their side against the Turks, and she is invoked as the champion of Christians in the battle of Lepanto as “Our Lady of Victories.” It is presumed that she favours Christians, but why should she be partial to one group - say Europeans? Is she a European or Christian goddess or really the mother of Jesus who cared for all? We have, therefore, to examine the Mary of our theology, spirituality and popular devotions. With a few exceptions, witnessed by the Madonna of Guadelupe, or the Black Mary of Poland, where people suffering hardships present her differently, she is portrayed as one who does not understand the socialist world, nor the suffering imposed by countries that called themselves Christian in Asia, Africa and the Americas. This traditional Mary is a Mary of the capitalist, patriarchal, colonialist, First World of Christendom.

233 This top-down Mariology leaves Mary to embody the message that the powerful want to hear. It is those who determine and dominate theological thinking who decide on the authenticity of any Mariology. Mariology might also be analyzed in social terms, for it has been developed within a Christian community that depreciated the human, the feminine and sexuality, and did not appreciate liberative commitment to social justice. Mary has been declared the patroness of many Catholic countries. In Sri Lanka, the national basilica has been dedicated to her. She is honoured as Queen of Sri Lanka. But what is the substance of the message which is expressed in the basilica and in its official teachings and prayers to Mary? It would seem that she is invoked mainly as a protectress in distress, and a healer in sickness. The Madonna was invoked to defend us against the Japanese during British rule, but she was not asked to help our peoples in their struggle for national independence and economic liberation. It may be said that we were saved from the ravages of war. This is true, but it is not understood that the causes of the war were in great measure the imperialist hold of Britain and her Western allies over most of the poor world. It is necessary to consider these issues critically, otherwise we might create our national Madonna and shrines to accommodate the framework of an unjust world order. This is quite against the spirit of the Magnificat. At present the shrine can help people to understand the root causes of our people’s misery, which include the selfishness and exploitation of local and foreign agencies. The national basilica can thus be a witness to Mary or a counter witness to her. Currently it would seem that little at the shrine is conducive to the triple liberation which the Magnificat proclaims: social, cultural and political.These areas need to be reconsidered in order that the shrine may be faithful to the message of Mary and of the Gospels. Tissa Balasuriya, Mary and Human Liberation.(Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1997); pp.31-33. (This book was first published in 1990). THESIS 76: DECOLONIZING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT AFRICAN RELIGIONS DOMINIQUE ZAHAN:

“To date numerous works in the field of African religious traditions have appeared. Of these many have been devoted to the description of particular religious phenomena, while others have attempted more or less broad syntheses of them. But in examining the efforts of the various investigators who have grappled with this task, one has the impression that they may have overlooked something. That ‘something,’ we think, is a very profound aspect of African spirituality: moral life and mystical life, these two aspects of African spirituality, give it its proper dimensions. They constitute, so to speak, the supreme goal of the African soul, the objective towards which the individual strives with all his energy because he feels his perfection can only be completed and consummated if he masters and surpasses himself through divinity, indeed through the mastery of divinity itself… Inspite of our progressively close contact with African culture over the past century, the West has chosen to see sorcery, savagery, and obscenity – in short a caricature of man – precisely in those moments in life when the African sets in motion his most genuine values. As strange as it may seem, no one in the West is astonished at the nuances and subtleties of Japanese or Chinese thought; but let an investigator document certain African ideas and he is considered rash if not completely reckless ‘interpreter.’ It is almost as if the refinement of the mind were the heritage of one part of mankind and not another, unless one wants to assert by this strange value judgment that thought and reflection are necessarily expressed by a single category of signifiers…

234 Despite the considerable number of ethnic groups in Africa and the apparent

heterogeneity of their religious customs, Western scholars sought for several decades to model the spiritual portrait of Africa with a single expression. This practice gave rise to the concepts of fetishism and animism, and was less a real attempt at understanding the phenomenon of religion than an intellectual satisfaction for Western rationalism. (Under the umbrella of scientific objectivity, many Western scholars describe African religions in a way that utterly trivializes them. Take for instance the case of E. Dammann who starts with what seems to be a positive definition). Dammann maintains that it is of prime importance to find a definition of the word ‘religion’ which can include all the phenomena of African religion. Unlike other scholars who used expressions such as magic, fetishism, sorcery or animism, he turns to the excellent formula presented by G. Van der Leeuw, ‘Religion as the relation with transcendence.’ However while applying this definition to African religions, he maintains that there is a distinction between the religion of the ‘primitive’ and that of the ‘civilized.’ The former has not yet learned to ‘distance’ himself from his environment so that ‘transcendence and immanence, objectivity and subjectivity are not differentiated for him… Thus the primitive man is at an earlier stage of historical evolution. He is close to the origins.’ In this way, if the African maintains relations with transcendence, it is felt by him above all as a magical power which acts involuntarily and which he can command and control “simply by knowing its laws and using them.” One finds in this conception of “primitive” man and of African religion the perspective of Levy-Bruhl prior to the Carnets, as well as traces of an evolutionism which has today fallen into disuse. These remarks are not, properly speaking, criticisms of these authors of world renown. They are intended to indicate the present state of scholarship in the area of synthesis of African religious studies. For the reasons cited above, it is easy to see that such an endeavor is difficult and full of obstacles.

A great improvement has already been made in this effort by the recognition on the part of scholars of the vacuousness of such concepts as ‘fetishism’ and ‘animism.’ But there remain still others which will have to be clarified before they can take their proper place in scientific anthropological vocabulary. This is notably the case for terms such as ‘magic’ and ‘sorcery.’ Because even if today we have partially abandoned the thinking of Sir James G. Frazer on this subject, it nonetheless remains that through a lack of knowledge of the true nature of a multitude of African practices and a misunderstanding of the role attributed to numerous objects and ingredients used in these rites, we group all of these elements into the categories of ‘magic’ and ‘sorcery.’ These terms thus become a catchall for our ignorance.”

Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979); pp.1-5.

Testimony of Robert M. Baum (an American scholar of African religions): Today the sub-Saharan region is home to the world’s largest concentrations of indigenous practitioners – perhaps as many as 200 million. The first Europeans to visit sub-Saharan Africa were Portuguese navigators who explored the western coastline in their search for a sea route to India and the Spice Islands during the Age of Discovery. Some explorers recorded vivid description of African rituals, though their lack of a shared language and the brevity of their visits made their interpretations questionable. With the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade in the late fifteenth century, European accounts of Africa became increasingly lurid, describing ‘brutal’ rituals that made the idea of slavery more palatable to Europeans. Some claimed that Africans had no religion at all and maintained that the rituals described by early travelers were only ‘superstitions’. The German philosopher Georg Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) described Africa as a land without history, a place of sorcery and superstition. By the late 1800s European scholars were developing evolutionary theories that traced the origins of religion to Africa. Such theories typically saw humanity as progressing in stages from ‘primitive’ African beliefs in multiple gods and spirits to the final flowering of Western monotheism. Thus Edward Tylor saw Africans as

235 animists, believing that there were souls in all things. Charles de Brosses and James Frazer thought that Africans worshipped objects endowed with special powers, these objects they called fetishes. Others suggested that Africans were polytheists, worshippers of many gods who were often represented by statues and masks. These images filtered into Western popular culture. The ballet Petrouchka (1911) includes a character called the Blackamoor who worships a coconut, an more recent notions of African religions have been shaped by Hollywood movies, from Tarzan series to Jim Carrey’s When Nature Calls. The anthropologist E.E. Evans-Pritchard described the standard ‘recipe’:

A reference to cannibalism, a description of Pygmies (by preference with a passing reference to Herodotus), a denunciation of the inequities of the slave trade, the need for the civilizing influence of commerce, something about rain- makers and other superstitions, some sex (suggestive though discreet), add snakes and elephants to taste; bring slowly to the boil and serve.

These were my first images of African religions as well. They reflected the long history of slave trading, colonization, and Western ethnocentrism, which tended to minimize the creative genius of African peoples. So what are African religions really like? Most African religions recognize a supreme being who began the process of creation, is the ultimate source of lesser deities’ power, gives or withholds rain, and judges human beings on their behaviour before they enter the afterlife. (For most Africans the spiritual realm is populated by one supreme being, various spirits or lesser gods, and the ancestors. Although many religious rituals focus on the spirits and ancestors, these are not viewed as “God” for they are considered as creatures of the supreme being). The supreme being is the ultimate source of all life and all spiritual power, and determines the fate of peoples when they die. This deity can be male, female, both male and female (androgynous), or neither. Sometimes the supreme being is male, sometimes female, sometimes both, but there are no gendered pronouns in West African languages (and in the Bantu languages). In other words, African religions share a focus on a supreme being, what English speakers would call God, who is seen as the source of all life. Individual traditions differ on whether the supreme being actually created the world or delegated that task to subordinates. The Yoruba of Nigeria and Benin maintain that Olodumare, the lord of the heavens, delegated the creaton to lesser gods called orisha, while the Dogon of Mali believe that their supreme being, Amma, began the task of creating the world but left it to be completed by spirits known as Nummo, also created by Amma. The Nuer and Dinka of the southern Sudan, the Bambuti of Congo, and the Koisan of South Africa, for their part, all emphasize that the supreme being alone was responsible for creation. The fact that almost every African ethnic group already had a term for the supreme being made it relatively easy for nineteenth-century missionaries to translate the Christian idea of ‘God’. Different traditions also differ in their views of the role that the supreme being plays in the daily affairs of their communities. The Yoruba tradition suggests that Olodumare reigns but does not rule – just as the Yoruba kings are sacred symbols of the townships that they oversee but do not rule their city-states.Similarly the Igbo of southeastern Nigeria have a saying – ‘God is like a rich man, you approach him through his servants’ – that suggests their supreme being is far removed from human beings and has created lesser spirits, divine servants, to handle specific types of problems. In both case, the implication is that humans should avoid appealing to the supreme being except in matters of great importance or when appeals to lesser spirits have repeatedly failed. To ask the supreme being for help with minor concerns like getting a job or winning a football game would be to show an arrogance bordering on blasphemy. Most African religious communities do not have specific shrines for the worship of the supreme being, though they have many shrines dedicated to the lesser spirits or deities whose job

236 it is to assist humans in daily life. This pattern has created the false impression in the West that the supreme being is not central to African religious life. On the contrary, it shows both the people’s reverence for the supreme being, who has no need of sacrificial offerings, and their recognition of how insignificant their concerns are in the context of the universe. (for instance people do not build temples for the supreme being because the whole universe is his temple). Of all the material objects used in rituals by Africans, the ones that have attracted the most attention are images of gods and ancestors in the form of statues and masks. Non-Africans have dismissed such images as idols – objects of worship in themselves – based on the erroneous assumption that the image contains the god. In some cases statues of gods are ritually prepared with special medicines to summon the presence of the god, but the god can be present in many places at once and is never contained by an object. Most Africans believe in the possibility of communication with God and the lesser gods who through dreams, visions, prophetic revelation, spirit possession, or divination It is believed that the gods make their wishes known through mediums, diviners, and prophets, as well as through dreams and visions to various individuals. (Moreover it is worth noting that sub-Saharan Africa is viewed by many scholars as the cradle of humanity. This may mean that it is also the original place of world religion). If archaeologists are correct in believing that the first human beings came from Africa, then it stands to reason that the first religions also originated there. For decades, a succession of archaeological finds in East Africa, between Ethiopia and Tanzania, has been pushing back the date for the earliest human presence in the region. But evidence regarding religion is scanty at best. Excavation of Paleolithic burial sites, dating back as far as 100,000 years, have revealed that bodies were placed in the ground with faces turned toward the setting sun, and were often painted with ochre. These practices suggest that early humans valued their dead and may have linked their passage out of life to the setting of the sun, while the personal items (such as hunting weapons, tools, or food) often placed in the grave with the body suggest a belief in some form of afterlife. Graves from the end of the Paleolithic Age, approximately 10,000 years ago, sometimes contain animal bones that appear to have been heated until they cracked – perhaps so that a diviner could study the patterns and use them to foresee the future or understand the causes of current problems… As early as 10,000 years ago, Saharan and southern African rock paintings depicted people hunting various types of animals. Some of these scenes include images of figures with rays coming out of their heads. Commentators have suggested that the latter represent a freely circulating spiritual power that some powerful individuals were able to tap… It is (therefore) possible that, as the earliest humans slowly migrated to other continents of the world, they carried with them religious ideas and practices that originated in quite different places (of Africa).” Robert M. Baum, “Indigenous Religious Traditions” in Willard G. Oxtoby and Alan F. Segal, A Concise Introduction to World Religions. (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 15-20. Thesis 76 The category of “Pseudo-Traditional” culture (by Ekholm Friedman, Swedish anthropologist) “We know today that many of the societies that anthropology used to think were traditional (meaning original) were in fact late phenomena, created through transformative contact with an expanding Europe. They were products of a global historical process which for their part meant gradual disintegration, peripherilization and, in some cases, even complete elimination. The primitive state cannot be characterized by an inherent lack of dynamics; there are no cold

237 societies except fro those that have been defused and frozen by expanding civilization. They were given their impression of primitivity and backwardness by the position they were forced to occupy, within the global system. In the Congo area this perspective implies a necessary rethinking of the so-called “traditional” phenomena of fetishism, witchcraft, cannibalism (real or imaginary), and even the clan/tribe system... - “The first detailed descriptions of the social order, beliefs and customs of the Lower Congo do not appear until the turn of the 19th century and are then provided by missionaries like Bentley, Weeks, Van Wing and Laman. Their picture is predominantly dark and negative. People were poor, sick and superstitious. They devoted their energies to magic and witch hunting and their social life seemed dangerously brittle. This picture has been conceived as “the traditional society,” the way it looked before being influenced and modified by Western civilization. The European even pitied the natives for having such an inadequate culture and saw themselves as the saviors of poor Africa. Kongo culture follows here a rather general pattern for the Third World. It appears as conspicuously “savage” at the turn of the century, and in this form it has provided anthropology with raw material for generalizations about “primitive culture.” This interpretation is, however, quite absurd. It is obvious from a mere glance at the historical material that Kongo society and culture at the turn of the century was not “traditional.” It was, to a large extent, a product of colonialism. The true African heritage is not in the least lamentable and its importance must be recognized for both political and theoretical reasons. The Congo region, as other parts of the Third World, must rewrite its history and that work must include an analysis of the dark and destructive phenomena that the first missionaries have documented. Rather than treating culture as a given, the expression of a certain people or a region, we must understand it as a product of a given historical situation. And this cannot be done without a reformulation of the concept of culture.

Friedman, Kajsa Ekholm, Catastrophe and Creation: The Transformation of an African culture. (Philadelphia: Harwood academic publishers, 1991); pp.1-2.

Thesis 77.The Concept of Primitivism: an obsolete mystification “Primitive as an anthropological concept for what is ‘pertaining to a preliterate or tribal people having cultural or physical similarities with their early ancestors’ is ‘no longer in technical use’, states the unabridged second edition of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language (1987). This seems more like a good wish than a fact. The anthropological lexicon might somehow have marginalized the word, but its semantic web still dominates the configuration of the discipline and its object. Through complex chains of conceptual equivalences, its cognates have been routinized and now belong to the general intellectual vocabulary of any well-educated Western fellow.” V.Y. Mudimbe, Tales of Faith. Religion as Political Performance in Central Africa. (London: The Athlone Press, 1997); p.17. The term “primitive” comes from the Latin word primitivus which is a synonym of primigenus. In this Latin context it meant “original,” “first born,” “that which comes first.” As such the term is not necessarily negative. However as used today, the term primitive has a connotation which is a legacy of the enlightenment. In writings by many Western scholars, “primitive” is a derogatory and obnoxious term. The semantic framework of the concept of “primitive people” was informed by the theory of evolution and the hierarchy of cultures. The definition articulated by Carl Gustav Jung reflects the dominant view of Levy-Bruhl and many other scholars:

Primitive mentality differs from the civilized chiefly in that the conscious mind is far less developed in scope and intensity. Functions such as thinking, willing, etc. are not

238 yet differentiated; they are pre- conscious, and in the case of thinking, for instance, this shows itself in the circumstance that the primitive does not think consciously, but that thoughts appear. The primitive cannot assert that he thinks; it is rather that “something thinks in him.”

Jung, Carl Gustav, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980); p.153.

Writing on the application of the concept of primitiveness to African traditional religions by the guru of radical difference between the European mind and the mind of “primitive” people,, Evans-Pritchard observed that “Lévy-Bruhl was a mere armchair theorist” whose views proclaim inaccurate conclusions because they suffered from an academic pattern of mistaken or inadequate methodology and wild speculations informed by colonial faith in the Darwinian evolutionary theory and its the ‘progress’ mythology: “None of the anthropologists whose theories about primitive religion have been most influential had ever been near a primitive people. It is as though a chemist had never thought it necessary to enter a laboratory….Lévy-Bruhl was a mere armchair theorist who, like the rest of his French colleagues, had never seen a primitive man, far less talked to one…Lévy-Bruhl, it is now, I think, unanimously agreed among anthropologists, made primitive people far more superstitious, to use a commoner word than prelogical, than they really are; and he made the contrast more glaring between their mentality and ours by presenting us as more positivistic than most of us are... This failure to take into account the beliefs and rites of the vast majority of his fellow countrymen vitiates his argument. And he himself, as Bergson naughtily observed, in constantly accusing primitive man of not attributing any event to chance, accepted chance. He thereby placed himself, on his own showing, in the prelogical class... The contrast Lévy-Bruhl makes is an exaggeration... It is not so much a question of primitive versus civilized mentality as the relation of two types of thought to each other in any society, whether primitive or civilized, a problem of levels of thought and experience. It was because Lévy-Bruhl was dominated, as were almost all writers of the period, by notions of evolution and inevitable progress that he did not appreciate this.” Evans-Pritchard, E.E., Theories of Primitive Religion. (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1980; pp.7, 81 and 91) Thesis 78. BEYOND ANIMISM, PAGANISM, HEATHENISM AND FETISHISM According to the HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, it is now understood among scholars that “The notions of animism and animal worship are obsolete and ancestor worship is an inappropriate term for ancestral rites. We now know that animal worship and totemism are products of the scholars’ imagination.” Smith, Jonathan Z., ed., The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995); p. 51. (Edited in collaboration with the American Academy of Religion). It is worth recalling how this term was invented and why it is inadequate for a definition of African traditional religions. First of all it is used to absolutely deny African spiritual capacities in the quest for the divine. For Hegel Mystical experiences of union with God, spirituality and love are all alien to African consciousness and its religion. Hegel reduced African traditional religion to a set of rude and crude rituals of an ignorant and ignoble lot of savages. This view is translated in the concept of Animism which is now acknowledged by many scholars as an inadequate term. As understood today, Animism is a construct elaborated by anthropologists and scholars working in the field of sociology of religion, some of whom were heavily influenced by the

239 evolutionary theory of the 19th century. The history of the genesis of the term shows that Anismism is a hypothesis which was formulated in 19th century by the English anthropologist Edward Tylor (1832-1917) in search for the origin of religious beliefs. This term was coined from the Latin “Anima” which means “soul.” According to Tylor experiences of dreams, visions, hallucinations and the lifelessness of corpses caused primitive people to conclude that the body is inhabited by a soul (Anima). Furthermore he argued that primitive people think that the soul of the deceased dwell in trees, rocks, rivers, and so on, in such a way that they came to worship these elements of nature as gods. But the widespread meaning of Animism is that of primitive people incapable to conceive a high, perfect and supreme God, and who “invent” their own gods, and worship, in their infantile ignorance, trees, rivers and stones as gods. Thus, twelve years after Darwin’s work, E.B. completely locked the understanding of African traditional religions in the framework of evolutionary theory, in his classic book Primitive Culture published in 1871. The semantic field of animism integrated theories elaborated by many other authors. R.R. Marett (1866-1943), another English anthropologist, proposed a refinement of animism he called “Animatism.” According to this theory drawn from studies of Africans, Melanesians of the Pacific islands and Native Americans, the primitive people ignore the notion of a personal soul and believe in an impersonal force or supranatural power that animates everything. Missionaries found this theory interesting to show the uniqueness, greatness, and reasonableness of Christianity which emphasizes the notion of a “personal God” the only notion which renders possible a religion of love as they understood it. Another important characteristic of Animism came from the Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). His book Totem and Taboo inspired the perception that African religion is deprivated of spirituality and theoretical principles. It came to be seen as being essentially not a religion but a practice of irrational taboos, rituals and sacrifices, mainly human sacrifices. This view was reinforced by the difference established between true religion and magic by Sir James Frazer in the second edition of his famous book, Golden Bough, published in 1900, Emile Durkheim in his classic The elementary forms of religious life (1915). All these theories contributed to broadening and specifying the semantic universe of the notion of animism. This semantic field of animism includes the notions of polytheism, Fetishism, Magic, paganism or heathenism, and Ancestor worship, all perceived as “childish beliefs” characteristic of an undeveloped mind. According to the Pocket Oxford Dictionary, pagan and heathen are synonymous terms. They refer to the same condition of the worshiper of idols or false gods. The definition of “heathen” shows clearly how the attribution of this term to African spirituality is a gross obnoxious misnomer. According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary, heathen is one who is “neither Christian, Jewish, nor Mohammedan.” One can see in this definition how the paradigm of “Abrahamic religions” is used to exclude African religion from the realm of religion itself, given that the followers of traditional religions are called “heathen.” Moreover the dictionary specified that the heathen is an “unenlightened person.” The parameter of reason and civilization in the tradition of enlightenment philosophy is thus added to the picture to define Africans as creatures alien to rationality and the category of universality, i.e. savages or barbarians. Such is the very meaning of the etymology of heathen. As Bolaji Idowu pointed out, this word comes in fact from the German root “heath” which originally referred to the waste land removed from the outskirts of town, where outlaws, vagabonds, and brigands had their abode. Thus when this root receives the suffix-en, we obtain the word heathen which means the dweller on the heath. And heathenism means the habit, the characteristics, or the disposition of the heath- dwellers. (see Idowu, Bolaji, “Errors of Terminology” in Eastman, Roger, ed., The Ways of Religion: An Introduction to the Major Traditions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999; p.453)

240 In other words by calling Africans heathens scholars identified them with outlaws, criminals and prostitutes. It is interesting to note the connection between poverty and the state of heath-dwellers. Africa, being the poorest continent of the world, Africans have tended to be regarded by Western missionaries and scholars as people without moral qualities. The wealthless are seen as worthless spiritually and intellectually. Note on Fetishism: As MacGaffey pointed out the concept of “fetishism” has a negative connotation. It implied that African peoples were too immature to perceive the world correctly; and intellectual error led them to the moral error, in Christian opinion of Idolatry” THESIS 79 “Already in the 1920’s a Vodouisant made the following remark: “There is no such thing as Voodoo; it is a silly lie invented by you whites to injure us.” What this Vodouisant meant was that the phenomenon of “evil sorcery” is neither sponsored by African religion nor by any other religion on the so-called primitive side of the globe. Rather, evil sorcery is a universal threat to the integrity of all religions. There is in African religions and other world religions a conceptual understanding that some people and invisible agents can deploy mystical powers for harmful purposes. And yet, no one would think of reducing Christianity to “Satanism” just because its conceptual framework contains the notion of the devil and a multitude of active demons and God himself is invoked in the Bible for harmful ends in various types of curses.” (Adapted from Dianne M. Stewart, “Orisha Traditions in the West” in Miguel A. De La Torre, ed., The Hope of Liberation in World Religions. (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2008); p.254. THESIS 80

To Dr. Mary Smith and Miss Huffman who claimed that Nuer religion is a religion of fear, even terror, Evans-Pritchard replied: "It is true that Nuer, like everyone else, fear death, bereavement, sickness, and other troubles, and that it is precisely in such situations that they so often pray and sacrifice. It can be admitted also that, in that these troubles are manifestations of Spirit, they fear Spirit and wish to be rid of it. But we cannot say that on that account their religion is simply one of fear, which is, moreover, a very complex state of mind, and one not easy to define or assess. On the contrary, it is because Nuer are afraid of these misfortunes that one might speak of their religion as one of hope and comfort. But I think what fits the facts best is to say that it is a religion of both fear and trust, which may be opposites but are not contraries." (Nuer religion, p.312)

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SECTION 4: CHRONOLOGY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS Genesis of the Earth: 4.6 Billion B.P. Origin of life (single-celled creatures): 3.6 Billion B.P. Origin of pre-Humans: 5-1million years ago

Development of hominid “ancestors” of humankind (Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus)

Origin of Humanity: 100, 000 years ago (homo sapiens sapiens) 300,000-100,000: Emergence of anatomically modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens in Africa 100,000 some humans leave Africa to populate other continents 100,000: Africans in the Middle East Between 50,000 and 15,000: Europe, Asia, Americas 40,000: Africans well established in Europe 35,000: Africans in Australia 30,000: Africans in China (between 35,000 and 30,000) 30,000-15,000: Africans in the Americas 12,000: Africans reach the tip of South America.

Origin of History and Civilizations: 10,000 B.C.

Slow development of civilization: farming, metallurgy, urban life or villages, art and music.

Origin of major religions and civilizations: 5000- 2000 B.C.

Great historical civilizations emerge in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, and China Origin of current major world religions (2000 BC-1600 CE):

Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam 26, 000 BC: first evidence of ATR on rock painting in Namibia

African traditional religions originated more than 28,000 years ago in the Bantu area that spans roughly from Nigeria to South Africa. The oldest evidence of African religious expression is found on rock painting in southern Namibia in the Apollo XI cave dated some 28,000 years ago.

=>See Maret, Pierre de, Archaeological and other prehistoric evidence of traditional African religious expression in Blakely, Thomas D., et al., Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression (Portsmouth: Heinemann,1994); p.186.

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CHRONOLOGY OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS Phase 1. Nile Valley Religion and its contribution to the Bible and Judaism (3000 BC-100 AD) SACRED TEXTS OF KEMETIC RELIGION (NILE VALLEY) 28th century B.C. : “Shabaka Cosmology”; first written Creation myth on African Soil 23rd-21st century B.C.: Imago Dei Doctrine in the text “ The Four Primordial Good Deeds of God” 21st century B.C.: Instruction to Merikare ( Religious Ethic as a necessary guideline for the Government 21st century B.C: Democratic Speech of the Ordinary Citizen 20th century B.C.: Royal Inaugural Speech on the Obligations of the Prime Minister 16th century B.C.: “The Book of the Dead” (Compendium of Kemetic religious laws, sort of Egyptian Bible) Book edited in 16th century, but its teaching goes back to the pyramid texts 3000 BC 14th century B.C.: Rise of Egyptian Monotheism (Akhnaten theology) proclaiming the universal Providence of God to all the people of the World 12th century B.C.: The wisdom of Amenemope (whose influence on the Bible is today recognized by many Biblicists and Theologians 2nd century B.C.: The Great Hymn to Isis on Women’s Dignity and equality with men. These Egyptian texts can be found in the following volumes: 1975 Lichtheim, Miriam, Ancient Egyptian Literature. Vol.I : The Old and Middle Kingdoms, (London: Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press) 1976: Lichtheim, Miriam, Ancient Egyptian Literature. Vol.II : The New Kingdom. (London: Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press) 1980: Lichtheim, Miriam, Ancient Egyptian Literature. Vol.III: The Late Period. (London: Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press) 1994: Von Dassow, Eva and James Wasserman, eds., The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day, (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994: first edition). Tanslation of the Papyrus of Ani, written circa 1250 BC by unknown scribes. FRENCH EDITIONS 1984: Lalouette, Claire, Textes sacrés et textes profanes de l'ancienne Egypte: Des Pharaons et des hommes,

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(Paris: Gallimard, 1984) 1988: Lefebvre, Gustave, Romans et contes égyptiens de l'époque pharaonique,

(Paris: Librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient, Maisonneuve) ITALIAN EDITIONS: 1990: Bresciani, Edda, Letteratura e Poesia dell'Antico Egitto. Introduzione, traduzioni originali e note di Edda Bresciani, (Torino:Giulio Einaudi editore s.p.a.) This Egyptian religion did largely contribute to the Bible, Judaism and early Christianity Phase 2. African contribution to the foundation of Christianity (1-500 C.E) Great African theologians, Popes, Saints, Masters of Christian spirituality and Monasticism

The testimony of Pope John-Paul II (and Pope Paul VI): “In a message to the Bishops and to all the peoples of Africa concerning the promotion of the religious, civil and social well-being of the Continent, my venerable Predecessor Paul VI recalled in memorable words the glorious splendor of Africa’s Christian past: “We think of the Christian Churches of Africa whose origins go back to the times of the Apostles and are traditionally associated with the name and teaching of Mark the Evangelist. We think of their countless Saints, Martyrs, Confessors, and Virgins, and recall the fact that from the second to the fourth centuries Christian life in the North of Africa was most vigorous and had a leading place in theological study and literary production. The names of the great doctors and writers come to mind, men like Origen, Saint Athanasius, and Saint Cyril, leaders of the Alexandrian school, and at the other end of the North African coastline, Tertullian, Saint Cyprian and above all Saint Augustine, one of the most brilliant lights of the Christian world. We shall mention the great Saints of the desert, Paul, Anthony, and Pachomius, the first founders of the monastic life, which later spread through their example in both the East and the West. And among many others we want also to mention Saint Frumentius, known by the name of Abba Salama, who was consecrated Bishop by Saint Athanasius and became the first Apostle of Ethiopia. During these first centuries of the Church in Africa,certain women also bore their own witness to Christ. Among them saints Perpetua and Felicitas, Saint Monica and Saint Thecla are particularly deserving of mention. These noble examples, as also the saintly African Popes, Victor 1st , Melchiades and Gelasius1st, belong to the common heritage of the Church, and the Christian writers of Africa remain today a basic source for deepening our knowledge of the history of salvation in the light of the word of God. In recalling the ancient glories of Christian Africa, we wish to express our profound respect for the Churches with which we are not in full communion: the Greek church of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Coptic Church of Egypt and the Church of Ethiopia, which share with the Catholic Church a common origin and the doctrinal and spiritual heritage of the great Fathers and Saints, not only of their own land, but of all the early Church. They have labored much and suffered much to keep the Christian name alive in Africa through all the vicissitudes of history.” These churches continue to give evidence down to our own times of the Christian vitality which flows from their Apostolic origins. This is true in Egypt, in Ethiopia and, until the seventeenth century, in Nubia. At that time a new phase of the evangelization was beginning on the rest of the Continent.”

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(African Synod, Documents, Reflections, Perspectives, New York,Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996; p.242-243) AFRICAN POPES Sources: 1. J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, (Oxford University Press, 1988) 2. Encyclopedia Britannica. THE THREE AFRICAN POPES 1. Saint Victor (189-199): Pope for 10 Years Born in Africa. Elected in 189, died martyr in 199. Buried in St. Peter's church. - Known for fixing the date of Easter - He fought against the Bishops of Africa and Asia in order to have the Mass celebrated according to the Roman rite and not according to the Hebrew one. "An African by birth and the first Latin Pope, he may have advanced the Latinization of the Roman Church, hitherto overshadowed by Graeco-Oriental influences.” (J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, Oxford University Press, 1988) 2. Saint Miltiades, or Melchiades (311-314) Born in Africa. Elected 7, 2nd, 311, he died 1, 11th, 314. Under his pontificate, Emperor CONSTANTINUS, after having the vision "In hoc signo vinces" during the battle of Milvian bridge, proclaimed Christianity to be the "Official Religion". "The first pope to see the church not only tolerated but beginning to enjoy the active favour of the Roman government, he was elected after a vacancy of indeterminate length, depending on whether Eusebius's accession was in 310 or, as scholars variously argue, in 308.” (J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, Oxford University Press, 1988) 3. Saint Gelasius I (492-496) Born in Rome, of African origin. (according to vatican document) Encyclopedia Britannica simply writes “born probably in Africa) - Father of the Poors - He was the first Pope known to have been saluted as "Vicar of Christ" (at the Roman synod of 13 May 495). - Next to Leo I, Gelasius was the outstanding pope of the 5th century, and he surpassed Leo in theological grasp. His writings leave the impression of an arrogant, narrow-minded , and harsh pontiff. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Micropaedia, vol.5) his writings include more than one hundred treatises and letters; one of the most celebrated (494) was addressed to Zeno’s successor, Anastasius I, in which Gelasius states, ”There are two powers by which this world is chiefly ruled: the sacred authority of the priesthood and the authority of kings.” Gelasius’ doctrine that both sacred and civil power are of divine origin and independent, each in its own sphere, was then the most progressive thinking on the subject; had his formula been established, the subsequent history of the papacy probably would have been different. Among his acts, in 494 he changed the Lupercalia, a Roman pagan festival, into the feast of the Purification.”

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In the Greek and Roman oikumene, we find numerous North Africans who wrote in Greek and Latin. The Christian literature, from the first to the end of the third century, is almost completely dominated by thinkers of African origin. To be more specific and focus only on the Latin tradition, for more than two centuries, precisely from the period of the first version of the Latin bible, which specialists date around 160 A.D., during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, to the end of the third century, African writers are the most important contributors to the constitution of Christian thought: - Tertullianus (150-230) - Minucius - Felix, - Cyprianus ( -258) - Commodianus, - Arnobius, - Lactantius ( - 325) and other minor thinkers are from Africa. What would have been the Christian tradition without them ? They were before, and prepared the possibility of, an Augustine of Hippo, an African, one of the most powerful thinkers in the history of Christianity. (from V.Y. Mudimbe, The Idea of Africa, p.176) “The great playwright, Terence, first came to Rome as a Berber slave. Victor, in the late second century, the first Pope, whose native speech was Latin, was a North African, and so was the Emperor Septimius Severus (reigned 193-211) and Apuleius, whose novel The Golden Ass is one of the few masterpieces of the ancient world that the ordinary reader can still peruse with pleasure.” (Elizabeth Isichei, A History of Christianity in Africa from Antiquity to the Present. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans,1995; p.15). SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS (r. 193-211): An African general who took advantage of civil war in Rome to seize power and found a brief dynasty of Roman emperors, from 193 to 235. Although Severus managed to stabilize the empire, his successors were less able rulers, who lost control of the army. When the last of the Severi was assassinated by one of his own soldiers, the empire disintegrated into another, even worse civil war. Zelnick, Paths to Civilization, Intellectual Heritage, Philadelphia, Temple University; p.450. Also see Anthony R. Birley, Septimius Serverus: The African Emperor. (Yale University Press, 1988) COLONIZATION OF KNOWLEDGE 1500-1800 / 1850-1950 1840-1880: Exploration of Africa 1885-1955: Colonial occupation of Africa firmly established 1884-1885: BERLIN CONFERENCE 1955-1995: Struggle for the independence of Africa 1750-1950: Rise of negative anthropology (Triumph of the Hegelian paradigm) -1734: Creation of the University of Göttingen

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-1735: “Natural System”(by the Swedish naturalist Carl Von Linné. *1756-1797: Kant teaches for 40 years anthropology and comparative geography under the title “Knowledge of the World”. During this period, Göttingen University created in 1734 was establishing the Aryan model in universities.

• 1830: Philosophy of History (Hegel) denigrates African traditional religions • In 1867, the Victorian explorer and adventurer Sir Samuel Baker presented the following

report to the Ethnological Society of London on the Nilotes of the Southern Sudan: “Without any exception, they are without a belief in a Supreme Being, neither have they any form of worship or idolatry; nor is the darkness of their minds enlightened by even a ray of superstition. The mind is as stagnant as the morass which forms its puny world.” James Hunt the founder of the Ethnological Society of London maintained also strong racist views Sir Richard Burton (another famous victorian traveler and famous explorer-adventurer) wrote in reference to West Africa: “The Negro is still at that rude dawn of faith-fetishism-and he has barely advanced to idolatry... He has never grasped the ideas of a personal Deity, a duty in life, a moral code, or a shame of lying. He rarely believes in a future state of rewards and punishments, which, whether true or not, are infallible indices of human progress.”

1831: Hegel’s philosophy of history 1853-55: Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines; four impressive volumes by Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (1816-1882). This “magnum opus” of modern racism served for a long time as the Bible of racist arguments.

1859: The origin of Species (by Charles DARWIN,1809-1882; UK) promotes the theory of evolution

1931: one century later, Levy-Bruhl summarizes his theories on the primitive mind. “The Burden of the White Man” (by Rudyard KIPLING (Bombay 1865-London 1936; UK) Lucien LEVY-BRUHL(1857-1939, France) The 20th century opens up with Congo genocide, the establishment of colonial occupation and administration and the rise of Levy-Bruhl’s doctrine on the radical difference between European mentality and that of Africans and other colonized people. Levy-Bruhl identifies “European mentality” with “Modern, scientific, and rational mind.” 1910-1930: Between the two world wars, Levy-Bruhl making a synthesis of the scientific spirit of Darwinism and its subsequent philosophy of evolution built a philosophical system which defines the “Primitive mentality” as “Prelogic” and the antithesis of “Western mentality” in the following works: 1910: Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés intérieures 1922: La mentalité primitive (by Levy-Bruhl) 1927: L’âme primitive (by Levy-Bruhl) 1931: Le Surnaturel et la nature dans la mentalité primitive 1938: L’expérience mystique et les symboles chez les primitives

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Lévi-Strauss, Claude, The Savage Mind. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966)

*1994: Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. (New York: The Free Press). The expressions “Ancestor Worship” and “Animism” were invented in 19th century by two British anthropologists Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor *1871: Sir Edward Burnett Tylor published his work, Primitive Culture, to which is owed the continued currency of the term Animism. (But Tylor had used this term for the first time in an article published in 1866) *1885: the anthropologist Herbert Spencer used the expression “Ancestor worship” in his book Principles of Sociology (1885). * 1937: Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande (By Evans-Pritchard; Oxford: Clarendon Press) * 1940: The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People (by Evans-Pritchard; Oxford: Clarendon Press) Major Works in this period Tylor, E. B., Religion in Primitive Culture. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1958 (first published 1871 with the title Primitive Culture) Spencer, Herbert, Principles of Sociology (1885). Weber, Max, The Sociology of Religion. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964 (first published in German, in 1922) Weber, Max, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. (London: Routledge, 1922) (first published in German 1904-5) Durkheim, Emile, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life.

(New York: First Free Press, 1965) (first published 1915)

Frazer, James George, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. (New York: A Touchstone Book/ Simon and Schuster,1996) (first published 1922) Levy-Bruhl, Lucien 1910: Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés intérieures 1922: La mentalité primitive (by Levy-Bruhl) 1927: L’âme primitive (by Levy-Bruhl) 1931: Le Surnaturel et la nature dans la mentalité primitive 1938: L’expérience mystique et les symboles chez les primitifs Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1937)

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Evans-Pritchard, The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940) Evans-Pritchard, African Political Systems (1940) edited with Meyer Fortes. Evans-Pritchard, Social anthropology and other essays (New York: The Free Press, 1962). Evans-Pritchard, Theories of Primitive Religion. (Oxford: The Clarendom Press,1980). Note: Witchcraft is not a characteristic of African religions; it is a cultural belief found in many other societies, including European societies and religions Briggs, Robin, Witches and Neighbours: The Social and cultural context of European witchcraft. (London: Fontana, 1996) Jones, Prudence, and Nigel Pennick, A History of Pagan Europe.

(London: Routledge1995). Phase 4. Revival of African Traditional Religions (1945-2010) 1500-1960: Slavery and Colonialism (Africa conquered by Europe) 1960-1990: Africa gains progressively its independence 1954-1970: Civil Rights Movement in the US 1890: W.E.B. Du Bois (1868- ), still a student, proclaims “I am black and proud to be black, I am proud of the black blood that runs through my veins.” 1903: W.E.B. Du Bois (1868- ) publishes “The Soul of Black Folks”. He is considered the father of Negritude because of his identification with his African roots, and the father of the Panafrican movement. 1914-1960: Panafrican and Negritude Movements (Du Bois, Nkrumah, Cesaire, Senghor) 1918-1928 (or 1914-1925): Harlem Renaissance Langston Hughes (1902-1967) Claude Mac Kay (1860-1947) 1919-1945: Du Bois leads the Panafrican Movement. 1919 : First Pan-African Congress (held in Paris) 1921: Second Pan-African Congress successively held in London (August 28),

Brussels(August29-September 2), and Paris (September 3 and 5) 1923: Third Pan-African Congress (held in London) 1927: Fourth Pan-African Congress (held in New York) 1945: Fifth Pan-African Congress (in Manchester). Its resolution stated: “We demand for Black Africa autonomy and independence.” This statement became a central theme in Krumah’s book “Towards Colonial Freedom”(1947), Césaire’s “Discours sur le colonialisme”(1950), and Fanon’s “Peau Noire masques blancs”(1952)

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The early five Congresses of the Pan-African Movement were organized by Du Bois. The doctrine and program of these congresses may be summarized in nine points: 1) Affirmation of African agency through the motto “Africa for the Africans” 2) Unity of the African continent in one country: The United States of Africa 3) Moral, spiritual and cultural renaissance of Africa 4) To move africa from the spirit of tribalism to african nationalism 5) Faith in Democracy 6) affirmation of Non-violence and rejection of violence 7) planetary solidarity 8) economic development of Africa 9) Neutrality regarding the political ideology of the Capitalist bloc and the Communist regime of Moscow. 1921-1947: Paris circle and Negritude 1921: René Maran published “Batouala” 1932: The Manifesto “Légitime Défense” (revue des Etudiants Antillais de Paris) 1934-1940: Journal “L’Etudiant Noir” 1947-1995: Journal “Présence Africaine” 1948: Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache de langue française. (Edited by L.S.Senghor) With the preface “Orphée noir” (Black Orpheus) by Jean-Paul Sartre.

1939: “Cahier d’un retour au pays natal”(Return to my Native Land), by Aimé Césaire AFTER WORLD WORLD II 1945: Fifth Pan-African Congress (in Manchester). Its resolution stated: “We demand for Black Africa autonomy and independence.” This statement became a central theme in Krumah’s book “Towards Colonial Freedom”(1947), Césaire’s “Discours sur le colonialisme”(1950), and Fanon’s “Peau Noire masques blancs”(1952) 1945: Tempels, Placide, La Philosophie bantoue (Elisabethville: Lovania) 1949: La Philosophie bantoue (Paris: Présence Africaine) 1959: Bantu Philosophy (First English edition, Paris: Présence Africaine) 1947: Présence Africaine (Journal), bulletin of SAC (African Society of Culture), main instrument of the Négritude Movement founded in Paris. 1948: Griaule, Marcel, Dieu d’eau. Entretiens avec Ogotemmêli (by Marcel Griaule; Paris: Editions du Chêne). 1965: Conversations with Ogotemmêli: An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas

(1965: first English edition by International African Institute)

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1948: Senghor, Leopold Sedar, Anthologie de la nouvelle poésie nègre et malgache de langue française.(Anthology of New Negro and Malagasy Poetry) With the preface “Orphée noir” (Black Orpheus) by Jean-Paul Sartre. (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1972)

1950: Césaire, Aimé, Discours sur le colonialisme. 1954: James, George G.M., Stolen Legacy. (New York: Philosophical Library) Reprinted by Richardson Associates: San Francisco, California, 1976. 1954: Diop, Cheikh Anta, Nations nègres et culture: De l'antiquité nègre égyptienne aux problèmes culturels de l’Afrique Noire d'aujourd'hui. (Paris: Présence Africaine), 1954,1955

(1854: Frederick Douglass one of the first writers to call attention to the fact that the Egyptians were African and black). (1887: E.W. Blyden, Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race).

1981: Olela, Henry, From Ancient Africa to Ancient Greece.

(Atlanta: Select Publishing Co., 1981) THE BIRTH OF AFRICAN THEOLOGY (1945-1985) The development of African Christian theology went along with the defense and recognition of African culture in general and the recognition of African traditional religions in particular (ATR being the soul of African culture, African civilization and African identity) Major world events that contributed to the development of African theology: 1945: End of World War II (inaugurates the end of European colonialism) 1965; Vatican II ends the old Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus theology and opens the door to the recognition of other religions, including African traditional religions 1985: End of cold war (African theology no longer viewed as mere anti-Capitalist Marxism or Communism) 1995: end of Apartheid (opens the door to the development of South African theology, which broadens its horizon beyond mere denounciation of Apartheid) 3MAJOR PHASES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICAN THEOLOGY Phase 1: 1945-1965: Prehistory of African theology (20 years of preparation) The struggle for cultural freedom leads to the call for political freedom And the struggle for cultural and political freedom leads to the struggle for religious freedom (under the form of African theology) 1945-1955: Literary movement: Struggle for the renaissance and recognition of African culture; birth of African literature and African philosophy that will serve as the appropriate language for the articulation of an African theology. 1955-1965: Introduction (beginning of the debate over the creation of African theology) Africans for the first time call for the Africanization of Christianity and the right to create an African theology. Phase 2: 1965-1985 (20 years): Creation of African theology (the foundation of African theology begins) Encouraged by the political independence of many African countries, by Vatican II and by Pope Paul VI speech supporting the process of Africanization of bishops and of theology, Africans work actively for the production of African theology; important journals of theology and

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associations of theologians are created, including the famous Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (1976) and its branch the Ecumenical Association of African theologians (1977) Phase 3: 1985-2015 (30 years): Time of Maturity and international recognition the existence of African theology is taken for granted. No more need to justify its existence. Many libraries around the globe contain the theological production of African theologians and this theology becomes an integral part of teaching in universities, seminaries and theology faculties. 1955: First important meeting held in Accra on “Christianity and African culture.”

At that meeting of Anglophone thinkers, Professors Busia and Baeta defended the continuity between African traditional religions and Christianity and called churches to use African cultures in the proclamation of the Gospel. 1955: La philosophie Bantu-Rwandaise de l’Etre. (by Alexis Kagame, Bruxelles: Académie Royale des Sciences coloniales) 1956: Premier Congrès des Ecrivains et Artistes noirs (gathered at the Sorbonne University in Paris in september) (First International Congress of Black Writers and Artists) *1956: Des Prêtres noirs s’interrogent (Black Priests wonder) (Paris: Les éditions du Cerf) 1956: Mulago, Vincent, L’Union Vitale Bantoue. *1957: Sauneron, Serge, Les Prêtres de l’ancienne Egypte (Paris: Seuil)

Sauneron, Serge, The Priests of Ancient Egypt (Cornell University Press, 2000) 1957: Foundation of LA FACULTE DE THEOLOGIE CATHOLIQUE DE KINSHASA *1959: Deuxième Congrès des Ecrivains et Artistes noirs (Rome) (Second Pan-African Symposium of Black writers and artists) 1960: Independence of 16 African countries 1960: -L’unité culturelle de l’Afrique noire (Paris: Présence Africaine). (The Cultural Unity of Black Africa) -L’Afrique Noire Précoloniale (Paris: Présence Africaine) (Precolonial Black Africa) 1960: Debate on the legitimacy of creating an African theology (debate Tshibangu-Vanneste) 1960: Tshibangu Tshishiku (Mgr), Vers une theologie de couleur africaine, in Revue du Clerge africain, 15 (1960); pp. 333-352 (debat avec Vanneste)

1969: Pope Paul VI declared in 1969 in Kampala that Africans must have an “African” Christianity.

1983: The expression “African theology” is for the first time acknowledged in papal documents in the Vatican

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1961: The Progress and Evolution of Man in Africa. (by Louis S.B. Leakey; Oxford: University Press) (1971:Leakey’s Report to the VIIth Pan African Congress on Prehistory and the Study of the Quaternary ; Addis-Ababa) 1962: Notre rencontre (by Placide Tempels) 1963: Africa Must Unite (By Kwame Nkrumah; London: Heinemann) 1963: L’Afrique doit s’unir (Paris: payot) 1964: John Mbiti appointed Professor of African religions at Makerere University in Uganda. Consciencism: philosophy and ideology for decolonization and development with particular reference to the African revolution. (by Nkrumah; London); New rev. edit. London 1970. 1965: Vatican II documents (1967: Populorum Progressio by Paul VI)

(John XXIII published 2 encyclical encouraging those struggling for independence: Pacem in Terris in 1963 and Mater et Magistra in 1961) 1965: - An African vision of Christianity (Un visage africain du Christianisme) by Vincent Mulago; Paris: Présence Africaine) 1966: Mulago creates the Center for the study of African traditional religions (CERA:

Centre d’Etudes des Religions Africaines) and the journal of African traditional religions (Cahiers des Religions Africaines) at the Faculté de Théologie Catholique de Kinshasa.

1967: The Arusha Declaration (By Nyerere; Tanzania) (manifesto of the Ujamaa Philosophy) 1969: African Religions and Philosophy. (by John Mbiti) Les religions d’Afrique Noire: textes et traditions sacrés (par Louis-Vincent Thomas and René Luneau; ed. Fayard/denoël) 1969: Kimbanguism becomes the first African independent Church accepted as

member of the World Council of Churches. (Kimbanguism started in 1921 when Simon Kimbangu, a Baptist, preached only for 6

months while performing healing miracles: He maintained that Jesus denounced the colonial Belgian regime and its structural racism in the Democratic Republic of Congo) 197O: Les Religions africaines comme source de Valeurs de Civilisation (Pan-African

Symposium organized by the Société Africaine de Culture and the UNESCO); The Papers were published in the book entitled African Religions: A Source for the values of African Civilization(Paris: Présence Africaine, 1972)

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1970: Concepts of God in Africa (by John Mbiti) 1971: J.R. Harris, ed., The Legacy of Egypt..

(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971, Second edition) Particularly interesting: Chap 10: “Egypt and Israel” (by Ronald J. Williams): On the Philosophy of religion and the false dichotomy between the Monotheistic religions and ATR. Chap.11: “The Concept of Law in ancient Egypt” (by Aristide Théodoridès): on Political philosophy, Democracy and Human Rights.

1994: Matthews, Donald, “Proposal for an Afro-Centric Curriculum” in Journal of the American Academy of Religion LXII/3 (1994) on the crucial role of ancient Egypt for African and African American theology.

1973: Jones, William R., Is God A White Racist? A Preamble to Black Theology.

(Boston: Beacon Press, 1973 and 1998) 1973: La Religion traditionnelle des Bantu et leur vision du monde (Traditional Religion and worldview of the Bantu ) (By Mulago gwa Cikala, Faculté Catholique de Kinshasa) 1975: The Prayers of African Religion (by John Mbiti) 1976: La Philosophie Bantu comparée (by Kagame) 1976: Abimbola, Wande, Ifa. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976) 1976: *EATWOT (ecumenical association of Third World Theologians) created in Tanzania 1977: Creation of AOTA (Association Oecuménique des théologiens Africains),

a branch of EATWOT. 1978: La tierce Eglise est là (Buhlmann, Kinshasa:Saint Paul) 1978: Raboteau, Albert J., Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. (New York: Oxford University Press)

(1941: Herskovits, Melville J., The Myth of the Negro Past. Boston: Beacon Press; reedited in 1958 and 1990) 1993: Canizares, Raul, Cuban Santeria: Walking with the Night. (Rochester: Destiny Books, 1993); (another edition in 1999) 2004: De La Torre, Miguel, Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals of a

Growing Religion in America. (Grand Rapids: W.M.B. Eerdmans, 2004). 2000: Ray, B.C., African Religions: Symbol, Ritual, and Community.

(Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 2000). 1978: Ki-Zerbo, Joseph, Histoire de l’Afrique noire (Paris: Hatier) 1979: Wilmore, Gayraud S., and James H. Cone, eds., Black Theology:

A Documentary History, Volume one, 1966-1979. (New York: Orbis Books) 1993: Cone, James H. and Gayraud S. Wilmore, eds., Black Theology: A Documentary History, Volume two, 1980-1992. (New York: Orbis Books)

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1980: Keel, Othmar, ed., Monotheismus im Alten Israel und Seiner Umwelt. Mit Beitragen von Benedikt Hartmann, Erik Hornung, Hans-Peter Muller, Giovanni Pettinato und Fritz Stolz. Biblische Beitrage 14 (Fribourg: Verlag Schweizerisches Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1980) (Othmar Keel, geboren 1937, Studium in Fribourg, Rom, Jerusalem und Chicago, Professor fur Altes Testament und seine Umwelt an der theologischen Fakultat der Universitat Fribourg Erik Hornung, geboren 1933, Studium in Tubingen, Gottingen und Munster, Professor fur Agyptologie an der Universitat Basel, Mitglied des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts. Using recent archaeological discoveries these highly qualified German scholars challenge the idea that Israel invented monotheism.. They show the existence of a cult of Yahweh with his wife Ashera. Only progressively around 6th century BC did Israel formulate clearly a monotheistic theology.

1980: De Meester, Paul, L’Eglise d’Afrique d’hier et d’aujourd’hui. (Kinshasa: Saint Paul) 1980 UNESCO GENERAL HISTORY OF AFRICA (1980-1990; 8 volumes) 1981: Christianisme sans fétiches (by Eboussi Boulaga) (Paris: Présence Africaine) 1984: Christianity without fetishes: An African Critique and Recapture of Christianity (orbis books, Maryknoll) 1982: Hebga, M., Sorcellerie et priere de delivrance.. (Abidjan: Inades/Paris: Presence Africaine) 1981: Oliver, Roland and Michael Crowder, eds., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Africa. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). 1985: Document Kairos: defi a l’Eglise (Followed in 1989 by The Road to Damascus): Crucial documents in the development of Anti-Apartheid Black Theology. Influential black and white Christian theologians and religious leaders proclaim Apartheid and its theology a heresy. This movement was largely led by two Black theologians: Allan Boesak and Desmond Tutu. 1984: Desmond Tutu gains the Peace Nobel Price ? 1985: Van Sertima, Ivan, African Presence in Early Europe.

(New Brunswick: Journal of African Civilization, 1985) 1986: Oduyoye, M. A., Hearing and Knowing: Theological Reflections on Christianity in Africa. (Maryknoll: Orbis) 1987: : Tshibangu Tshishiku (Mgr), La Theologie africaine: Manifeste et programme pour le development des activites theologiques en Afrique. (Kinshasa: Saint Paul) 1987: Martin Bernal, Black Athena. Vol. 1: The fabrication of Ancient Greece (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987).

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Martin Bernal, Black Athena. Vol.II: The archeological and Documentary Evidence. (FAB, London, 1991), 736 pages. 1988: Mveng, Engelbert, “African Liberation Theology” in Boff, Leonardo and Elizondo, Virgil, eds., Convergences and Differences (Edinburgh: T and T. Clark, ltd., 1988). 1988: Mudimbe, V.Y. The invention of Africa, (Indiana University press, 1988) Thesis continued in 1994 in a second book: Mudimbe, V.Y.The Idea of Africa (Bloomington:Indiana University Press, 1994). 1988: Weatherford, Jack, Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World. (New York: Fawcett Books) Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa.

(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979);

Originally published in French as Religion, spiritualite, et pensee africaines (Paris: Payot, 1970). The book has 10 chapters; the most important are

Chap. 8 on “Ethics and Spiritual Life” and Chap.9 on “Mysticism and Spiritual Life.”

1985-1989: Major change in geopolitics: Michael Gorbatchev’s Perestroika and the collapse of Soviet Union. By reducing tensions between the US and Russia, the argument used by the Apartheid regime to defend Christianity and Western values agains black communists and atheists collapsed. Likewise the argument of fighting Communism used by African dictators to gain the support of Washington is no longer valid. The result is the spread of freedom in Africa, the collapse of dictatorships, the rise of democracy and the collapse of the Apartheid regime 1990; Nelson Mandela liberated from prison (February 11) 1990: Assmann, Jan, Ma’at: Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit im Alten Agypten. (Munchen: Verlag C.H. Beck, 1990); reedited in 1995 and 2001 1990: Obenga, Théophile, La Philosophie Africaine de la Période Pharaonique.

2780-330 avant notre ère. (Paris : Présence Africaine) 1990: "Donna e Madonna in Africa: saggio di mariologia Africana."

In Gentes, N°5, Maggio, Roma, 1990. 1990: Inculturation et Liberation en Afrique aujourd’hui: Mélanges en l’honneur du Professeur Abbé Mulago gwa Cikala (Facultés Catholiques de Kinshasa)

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1991: African Civilization Revisited: From Antiquity to Modern Times

(by Basil Davidson; Trenton: Africa World Press) 1991: Cheikh Anta Diop, Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology. New York:Lawrence Hill Books); important English translation of Cheikh Anta Diop’s work. 1991: Felder, Cain Hope, ed., Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press) 1992: Stannard, David E., American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World. (Oxford: Oxford University Press) 1993: The Original African Heritage Study Bible. (Nashville: The Jdames C. Winston Publishing Company)

1995: Holy Bible. African American Jubilee Edition (New York: American Bible Society, 1995; another edition with supplementary materials in 1999)

1999: The African Bible (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1999) (2004: Yamauchi, Edwin M., Africa and the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic)

1993: Cone, James H. and Gayraud S. Wilmore, eds., Black Theology:

A Documentary History, Volume two, 1980-1992. (New York: Orbis Books)

1993: Olupona, Jacob K.& Nyang, Sulayman S., eds., Religious Plurality in Africa:

Essays in Honour of John S. Mbiti. (Berlin-New York: Mouton de Gruyter,1993); pp.157-158.

1993: Blaut, J.M., The Colonizer’s Model of the World:

Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History. (New York: The Guilford Press, 1993)

1993: Rabasa, Jose, Inventing America: Spanish Historiography and the Formation of Eurocentrism.

(Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press)

1994: Mandela elected President of South Africa? (End of Apartheid) (November 2008: Barack Obama elected first Black President of the United States of America)

1994: Maret, Pierre de, “Archaeological and other prehistoric evidence of traditional African religious expression.” in Blakely, Thomas D., et al., Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression (Portsmouth: Heinemann,1994) 1994: Blakely, Thomas D., Walter E.A. van Beek and Dennis L. Thomson, eds., Religion in Africa: experience and expression (Portsmouth: Heinemann) 1994: Mveng, Engelbert, “Impoverishment and Liberation: A Theological Approach for Africa and the Third World” in Gibellini, Rosino, ed., Paths of African theology (Maryknoll: Orbis Books,1994.)

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1994: First Synod of African Catholic Bishops held in Rome *1994: Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. (New York: The Free Press). 1994: Matthews, Donald, “Proposal for an Afro-Centric Curriculum” in Journal of the American Academy of Religion LXII/3 (1994) on the crucial role of ancient Egypt for African and African American theology. 1994: Baur, John, Two Thousand Years of Christianity in Africa: An African History, 62-1992. (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa) 1995: Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present . (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995). 1995: Dinesh D’Souza, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (New York: The Free Press). 1995: Epega, Afolabi A., and Philip John Neimark, The Sacred Ifa Oracle. (New York: HarperSanFrancisco/HarperCollins Publishers) 1996: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Interreligious Dialogue in Black Africa among Christianity, Islam, and African Traditional Religion.” In Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Volume 33, Number 4, Fall 1996. 1996: Browne, Maura, ed., The African Synod: Documents, Reflections, Perspectives.

(New York/Maryknoll: Orbis Books). Documents of the first Synod of African Catholic Bishops held in Rome in 1994 (April 10-May 8). Contains Pope John Paul II’s “Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation” which proclaims the contribution of Africa to the nascent Christianity. 1996: Mary R. Lefkowitz, Not Out of Africa:

How Afrocentrism Become an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. (New York: A New Republic Book, BasicBooks).

1996: Mary R. Lefkowitz,ed., Black Athena Revisited.

(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press). 1996: Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History.

(New York: MacMillan; 5 volumes); edited by a team from Columbia University and Harvard University.

1996: Asante, Molefi and Abu Abarry, eds., African Intellectual Heritage: A Book of Sources. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press)

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1997: Assmann, Jan, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press); republished later in German in 1998 and 2000

1997: Richard Poe, Black Spark White Fire: Did African Explorers Civilize Ancient Europe? (Rocklin: Prima Publishing). *1997: Michael Levin, Why Race Matters: Race Differences and What They Mean.

(Westport, CT.:Praeger, 1997). Levin is a professional philosopher who continues the same IQ ideology of The Bell Curve.

1997: Mudimbe, V.Y. Tales of Faith: Religion as Political Performance in Central Africa. (London and Atlantic Highlands: The Athlone Press, 1997). 1997: Magesa, Laurenti, African Religion: the Moral Traditions of Abundant Life.

(New York, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1997)

1998: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: An African Contribution to the Global Ethic Project. “ A chapter in For All Life: Toward a Universal Declaration of a Global Ethic. Book edited by Leonard Swidler (Ashland: White Cloud Press, 1998).

1998: Hochschild, Adam, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company) 1998: Howe, Stephen, Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes. (London: Verso) (Tutor in Politics at Ruskin College, Howe articulates the most comprehensive critique of Afrocentrism) 1999: Jahoda, Gustav, Images of Savages: Ancient Roots of Modern Prejudice in Western Culture. (London: Routledge) 1999: Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (New York: Basic Civitas Books). Edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates from Harvard University; 2000 pages! 2000: Fabian, Johannes, Out of Our Minds: Reason and Madness in the Exploration of Central Africa (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000); 2001: Arnauld, Dominique, Histoire du Christianisme en Afrique: Les sept premiers siecles. (Paris: Karthala).

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2001: Fabian, Johannes, Anthropology with an Attitude: Critical Essays. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001) 2001: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Bumuntu: An African Response to the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Agreement on Justification.” In Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Volume 38, Number 1, Winter 2001. 2001: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Bumuntu Paradigm and Gender Justice: Sexist and Antisexist Trends in African Traditional Religions,” in Maguire, Daniel C. and Johan C. Raines, ed., What Men Owe to Women: Men’s Voices in World Religions. (Albany: State university of New York Press, 2001). 2001: Bernasconi, Robert, ed., Race: Blackwell Readings in Continental Philosophy. (Oxford: Backwell) 2001: Martin Bernal, Black Athena Writes Back. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001). 2001: Bernasconi, Robert, ed., Race: Blackwell Readings in Continental Philosophy.

(Oxford; Blackwell) 2002: Bancel, Nicolas, et al., dir., Zoos humains: de la venus hottentote aux reality shows.

(Paris: La Decouverte, 2002). 2003: Bernasconi, Robert, and Sybol Cook, eds., Race and Racism in Continental Philosophy. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). 2003: Ferro, Marc, dir., Le livre noir du colonialisme. XVIe-XVIIe siecle: de l’extermination a la repentance. (Paris: Robert Laffont, 2003); 837 pages. 2004: Colas, Dominique, Races et racisme de Platon a Derrida: Anthologie critique.

(Paris:Plon); 764 pages.

2005: Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of Black Studies (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2005)

2005: Stewart, Dianne M., Three Eyes for the Journey: African Dimensions of the Jamaican Religious Experience. (Oxford University Press). 2007: Jenkins, Philip, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity,

Revised and expanded edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); 2007: Asante, Molefi Kete and Emeka Nwadiora, Spear Masters: An Introduction to

African Religion. (New York: University Press of America) 2007: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Muntu, Kintu and the pursuit of Bumuntu: Reflection on female circumcision and the roots of violence against women in African traditional religions,” in Maguire, Daniel C. and Sa’diyya Shaikh, eds., Violence against Women in Contemporary World Religion: Roots and Cures.

(Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2007).

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2008: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Liberation Theology in African Traditional Religions,” in De La Torre, Miguel, ed., The Hope of Liberation in World Religions. (Baylor University Press, 2008).

2008: Olupona, Jacob K. and Terry Rey, eds., Orisa Devotion as World Religion:

The Globalization of Yoruba Religious Culture. (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2008)

2008: Soyinka, Wole, “The Tolerant Gods” in Olupona, Jacob K. and Terry Rey, eds.,Orisa Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yoruba Religious Culture.

(Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2008)

2009: Ter Haar, Gerrie, How God Became African: African Spirituality and Western Secular Thought. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press) 2009: Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion

(Thousand Oaks: Sage)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “God in African religions” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Ontology” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Intermediaries in African cosmology” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Bumuntu: African concept of moral values and dignity” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Bubi: The Concept of Evil in African Religions” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Divination Systems” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Nganga: healing in African religions” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

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2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Rivers and Streams as Deities in African Religions” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Proverbs and Teaching in African Religious Wisdom” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Epistemology” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Baluba: The People and Their Worldview” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

2009: Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “African Religions and Resistance to Enslavement” in Encyclopedia of African Religion; ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

PART 2 THEMATIC BIBLIOGRAPHY I. GENERAL HISTORY OF AFRICA

GENERAL HISTORY OF AFRICA UNESCO GENERAL HISTORY OF AFRICA (1980-1990; 8 volumes) Loewen, James W., Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. (New York: A Touchstone Book/Simon and Schuster, 2007, 2nd edition completely revised and updated) (first published in 1995) Connah, Graham, African Civilizations. Precolonial Cities and States in tropical Africa: an archaeological perspective (Cambridge University Press, 1987) Koslow, Philip, Centuries of Greatness: The West African Kingdoms: 750-1900. (New York, Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1995) Heywood, Linda M., ed., Central Africans and Cultural Transformations

in the American Diaspora. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

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Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of Black Studies

(Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2005) Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion

(Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009) Appiah, Kwame Anthony and Henry Louis Gates , eds.,

Africana: The Encyclopedia of The African and African American Experience. (New York: Basic Civitas Books, 1999)

Ki-Zerbo, Joseph, Histoire de l’Afrique noire (Paris: Hatier, 1978) Balandier, Georges and Maquet, Jacques, eds., Dictionnaire des civilisations africaines. (Paris: Fernand Hazan, 1968). Feierman, Steven "African Histories and the Dissolution of World History" in Bates, Robert H., Mudimbe, V.Y. and O’Barr, Jean, Africa and the Disciplines:

The Contributions of Research in Africa to the Social Sciences and Humanities (Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press, 1993). Friedman, Kajsa Ekholm, Catastrophe and Creation: the transformation of an African culture. (Chur, Philadelphia, Harwood academic publishers, 1991) Davidson, Basil, African Civilization Revisited from Antiquity to Modern time. (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991) Davidson, Basil, The African Genius: An Introduction to African Cultural and Social History.

(Boston, London: Little, Brown and Company, 1969) Davidson, Basil, The Search for Africa: History, Culture, Politics. (New York: Times Books, 1994) Diop, Cheikh Anta, Nations Nègres et Culture: De l'antiquité nègre égyptienne

aux problèmes culturels de l'Afrique Noire d'aujourd'hui. (Paris: Présence Africaine 1954; and 1964; 1979 edition: two volumes; 572 pages) Diop, Cheikh Anta, Precolonial Black Africa.

(New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1987)

Diop, Cheikh Anta, Towards The African Renaissance: Essays in African Culture and Development 1946-1960 (London: Karnak House, 1996) First published in French in 1990 under the title Alerte sous les Tropiques (Paris: Presence Africaine, 1990)

263

Diop, Cheikh Anta, The Cultural Unity of Black Africa (London: Karnak House, 1989)

Diop, Cheikh Anta , Antériorité des civilisations nègres: Mythe ou vérité historique? (Présence Africaine, Paris, 1967). Diop, Cheikh Anta, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality ? (New York: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1974) (English translation of sections of “Nations nègres et culture” and“Antériorité des civilisations nègres.”) Diop, Cheikh Anta, Civilisation ou Barbarie: Anthropologie sans complaisance. (Présence Africaine, Paris, 1981) Diop, Cheikh Anta, Civilization or Barbarism.An Authentic Anthropology. (New York : Lawrence Hill Books, 1991) Part four: “Africa’s Contribution to Humanity in Sciences and in Philosophy” Van Sertima, Ivan, They Came Before Columbus. (New York: Random House, 1976) Van Sertima, Ivan, African Presence in Early Europe.

(New Brunswick: Journal of African Civilization, 1985) Van Sertima, Ivan, ed., Blacks in Science: ancient and modern. (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1992)

Reader, John, Africa: A Biography of the Continent. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998)

Diamond, Jared, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. (New York/London: W.W. Norton & company, 1999)

Bond, George Clement and Diane M. Ciekawy, eds., Witchcraft Dialogues: Anthropological and Philosophical Exchanges. (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2001) II. AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS: IMPORTANT WORKS Hegel, G.W.F., The Philosophy of History (Read “Geographical Basis of History”) in

Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 43: Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche.

(Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994) Hegel, G.W.F., The Philosophy of Right. in

Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 43: Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche.

(Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994)

264

“Teaching African Religions in American Universities” in Spotlight on Teaching. Special issue of the American Academy of Religion (Vol.1., n02, May 1993)

Briggs, Robin, Witches and Neighbours: The Social and cultural context of European witchcraft. (London: Fontana, 1996) Jones, Prudence, and Nigel Pennick, A History of Pagan Europe.

(London: Routledge1995).

Patai, R., The Hebrew Goddess. (New York: Ktav, 1967)

1980: Keel, Othmar, ed., Monotheismus im Alten Israel und Seiner Umwelt. Mit Beitragen von Benedikt Hartmann, Erik Hornung, Hans-Peter Muller, Giovanni Pettinato und Fritz Stolz. Biblische Beitrage 14 (Fribourg: Verlag Schweizerisches Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1980) Using recent archaeological discoveries these highly qualified German scholars challenge the idea that Israel invented monotheism and indicate the long lasting presence of “Paganism” and “Polytheism” within Judaism. They show the existence of a cult of Yahweh with his wife Ashera. Only progressively around 6th century BC did Israel formulate clearly a monotheistic theology. And yet Akhnaton’s Monotheistic theology and prayers were formulated several centuries earlier.

Assmann, Jan, Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997); republished later in German Sauneron, Serge, The Priests of Ancient Egypt. (Cornell University Press, 2000)

Assmann, Jan, Ma’at: Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit im Alten Agypten. (Munchen: Verlag C.H. Beck, 1990); reedited in 1995 and 2001 Herodotus, The History. Book II (Read Paragraphs 50 and 104) in Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 5: Herodotus, Thucydides.

(Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994) Solmsen, F., Isis among the Greeks and Romans.

(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979)

Witt, R.E., Isis in the Ancient World. (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997); 1st edition in 1971 Harris, J.R. ed., The Legacy of Egypt.

(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971, 2nd edition) Baur, John, Two Thousand Years of Christianity in Africa: An African History, 62-1992. (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1994)

265

Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present . (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995). Arnauld, Dominique, Histoire du Christianisme en Afrique: Les sept premiers siecles.

(Paris: Karthala:2001) Soyinka, Wole, “The Tolerant Gods” in

Olupona, Jacob K. and Terry Rey, eds., Orisa Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yoruba Religious Culture. (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2008)

Ter Haar, Gerrie, How God Became African: African Spirituality and Western Secular Thought. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009) Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion

(Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Asante, Molefi Kete and Emeka Nwadiora, Spear Masters: An Introduction to African Religion. (New York: University Press of America, 2007)

Magesa, Laurenti, African Religion: the Moral Traditions of Abundant Life.

(New York, Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1997) Mulago, Vincent, Un visage africain du Christianisme. (Paris: Présence Africaine, 1965). Mulago, Vincent, La Religion Traditionnelle des Bantu et leur vision du monde. (Kinshasa: Presses Universitaires du Zaïre, 1973). Mbiti, John. Concepts of God in Africa. (New York, Washington: Praeger Publishers, 1970) Mbiti, John. African Religions and Philosophy. (Portsmouth,Heinemann, 1990) Mbiti, John, Introduction to African Religion. (Portsmouth: Heinemann International, 1991, 2nd edition) Mbiti, John, The Prayers of African Religion.

(London: SPCK, 1974) Olupona, Jacob K., ed., African Traditional Religions in Contemporary Society. (New York: A New Era Book/Paragon House, 1991)

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Olupona, Jacob K.& Nyang, Sulayman S., eds.,

Religious Plurality in Africa: Essays in Honour of John S. Mbiti (Berlin-New York: Mouton de Gruyter,1993)

Olupona, Jacob K. and Terry Rey, eds., Orisa Devotion as World Religion:

The Globalization of Yoruba Religious Culture. (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2008)

Bujo, Benezet, Foundations of an African Ethic:

Beyond the Universal Claims of Western Morality. (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2001) Original published in German in 2000

Bujo, Benezet, The Ethical Dimension of Community:

The African Model and the Dialogue between North and South. (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1997) Original published in German in 1993

Epega, Afolabi A., and Philip John Neimark, The Sacred Ifa Oracle. (New York: HarperSanFrancisco/HarperCollins Publishers, 1995) Abimbola, Wande, Ifa. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976) Idowu,E. Bolaji, Olodumare, God in Yoruba belief. (New York:Wazobia, 1994) (first published 1962) Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “African Epistemology and Philosophy” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of Black Studies . (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2005)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Epistemology and African Traditional Religions” in Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion

(Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009) Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “African Philosophy” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of Black Studies . (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2005)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Bantu Philosophy” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Baluba: The people and their Religion” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “God (in African Traditional Religions)” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

267

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Rivers and Streams” in Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion

(Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009) Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “African Ontology” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Bumuntu (Authentic Personhood)” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Divination” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Nganga” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “African religions and Resistance to Enslavement” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Proverbs and Teaching” in

Asante, Molefi and Mazama, Ama, eds., Encyclopedia of African Religion (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009)

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Interreligious Dialogue in Black Africa among Christianity, Islam, and African Traditional Religion.” In Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Volume 33, Number 4, Fall 1996.

Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: An African Contribution to the Global Ethic Project. “ A chapter in For All Life: Toward a Universal Declaration of a Global Ethic. Book edited by Leonard Swidler (Ashland: White Cloud Press, 1998). Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Liberation Theology in African Traditional Religions,” in The Hope of Liberation in World Religions. (Edited by Miguel A. De La Torre; Baylor University Press, forthcoming, Spring 2008). Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Muntu, Kintu and the pursuit of Bumuntu: Reflection on female circumcision and the roots of violence against women in African traditional religions,” in Violence against Women in Contemporary World Religion: Roots and Cures. (Edited by Daniel C. Maguire and Sa’diyya Shaikh ; Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2007). Mutombo Nkulu-N’Sengha, “Bumuntu Paradigm and Gender Justice: Sexist and Antisexist Trends in African Traditional Religions,” in What Men Owe to Women: Men’s Voices in

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World Religions. (Edited by John C. Raines and Daniel C. Maguire (Albany: State university of New York Press, 2001).

Amadiume, Ifi, Re-Inventing Africa: Matriarchy, religion and culture (London, New York: Zed Books, 1997) Bond, George Clement and Diane M. Ciekawy, eds., Witchcraft Dialogues: Anthropological and Philosophical Exchanges. (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2001) Peek, Philip M., ed., African Divination Systems: Ways of Knowing. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991) Fisher, Robert B., West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1998). Healey, Joseph and Donald Sybertz, Towards an African Narrative Theology. (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996) Blakely, Thomas D., Walter E.A. van Beek and Dennis L. Thomson,eds., Religion in Africa: experience and expression. (Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1994) Harvey, Graham, ed., Indigenous Religions: A Companion (London: Cassell, 2000) Harvey, Graham, ed., Religious in Focus: New Approaches to Tradition and Contemporary Practices. (London: Equinox, 2009) De La Torre, Miguel, Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America. (Grand Rapids: W.M.B. Eerdmans, 2004). Canizares, Raul, Cuban Santeria: Walking with the Night. (Rochester: Destiny Books, 1993) (another edition in 1999) Raboteau, Albert J., Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978) Ray, B.C., African Religions: Symbol, Ritual, and Community.

(Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 2000) Griaule, Marcel, Conversations with Ogotemmêli:

An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas (International African Institute, 1965) Tempels, Placide, La Philosophie bantoue (Elisabethville: Lovania, 1945) 1949: La Philosophie bantoue (Paris: Présence Africaine) 1959: Bantu Philosophy (First english edition, Paris: Présence Africaine)

269

Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa.

(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979);

Originally published in French as Religion, spiritualite, et pensee africaines (Paris: Payot, 1970). The book has 10 chapters; the most important are

Chap. 8 on “Ethics and Spiritual Life” and Chap.9 on “Mysticism and Spiritual Life.”

Ellis, Stephen, and Gerrie Ter Haar, Worlds of Power: Religious Thought and Political Practice in Africa. (London: Hurst and Company, 2004) Comaroff, Jean and Comaroff, John, Of Revelation and Revolution: Vol1.Christianity, Colonialism and Consciousness in South Africa. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991. III. SACRED TEXTS OF AFRICA 1. SACRED TEXTS OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS

Epega, Afolabi A., and Philip John Neimark, The Sacred Ifa Oracle. (New York: HarperSanFrancisco/HarperCollins Publishers, 1995) Courlander, Harold, A Treasury of African Folklore: The Oral Litterature, Traditions, Myths,

Legends, Epics, Tales, Recollections, Wisdom, Sayings, and Humor of Africa. (New York: Marlowe and Company, 1996) Mbiti, John, The Prayers of African Religion.

(London: SPCK, 1974) Thomas, Louis-Vincent and René Luneau,

Les religions d’Afrique Noire: textes et traditions sacrés (Paris: ed. Fayard/denoël, 1969) Bilhartz, Terry D., Sacred Words: A Source Book on the Great Religions of the World. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2006) Wilson, Andrew, ed., World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts.

(New York: Paragon House, 1991) Dieterlen, G., Textes sacrés de l’Afrique noire. (Paris: 1965) 2. SACRED TEXTS OF ANCIENT EGYPT (THE “EGYPTIAN BIBLE”)

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28th century B.C. : “Shabaka Cosmology”; first written Creation Myth on African Soil (Kemet; Nile Valley) 23rd-21st century B.C.: Imago Dei Doctrine in the text “ The Four Primordial Good Deeds of God” (Kemet; Nile Valley). 21st century B.C.: Instruction to Merikare (21st century B.C.): Religious Ethic as a necessary guideline for the Government Democratic Speech of the Ordinary Citizen (21st Century B.C.) Royal Inaugural Speech on the Obligations of the Prime Minister (20th century B.C.) 16th century B.C.: “The Book of the Dead” (Compendium of Kemetic religious laws, sort of Egyptian Bible); its content goes to pyramid texts, 3rd millennium BC. 14th century B.C.: Rise of Egyptian Monotheism (Akhnaten theology) proclaiming the universal Providence of God to all the people of the World 12th century B.C.: Kemetic book of wisdom by Amenemope (whose influence on the Bible is today recognized by many Biblicists and theologians 2nd century B.C.: The Great Hymn to Isis on Women’s Dignity and equality with men. These Egyptian texts can be found in the following volumes: Von Dassow, Eva and James Wasserman, eds., The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day, (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994: first edition). Translation of the Papyrus of Ani, written circa 1250 BC by unknown scribes. Lichtheim, Miriam, Ancient Egyptian Literature. Vol.I : The Old and Middle Kingdoms, (London: Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1975) Lichtheim, Miriam, Ancient Egyptian Literature. Vol.II : The New Kingdom. (London: Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1976) Lichtheim, Miriam, Ancient Egyptian Literature. Vol.III: The Late Period. (London: Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980) Pritchard, James B., The Ancient Near East: Volume I, An Anthology of Texts and Pictures. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973) FRENCH EDITIONS Lalouette, Claire, Textes sacrés et textes profanes de l'ancienne Egypte: Des Pharaons et des hommes, (Paris: Gallimard, 1984) Lefebvre, Gustave, Romans et contes égyptiens de l'époque pharaonique,

(Paris: Librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient, Maisonneuve, 1988) ITALIAN EDITIONS:

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Bresciani, Edda, Letteratura e Poesia dell'Antico Egitto. Introduzione, traduzioni originali e note di Edda Bresciani, (Torino:Giulio Einaudi editore s.p.a., 1990) 3. AFRICAN BIBLES The Original African Heritage Study Bible. (Nashville: The Jdames C. Winston Publishing Company, 1993) Holy Bible. African American Jubilee Edition (New York: American Bible Society, 1995; and 1999) The African Bible (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1999) IV. CHRISTIANITY AS AN AFRICAN RELIGION (African Contribution to the birth of Christianity) The Original African Heritage Study Bible. (Nashville: The Jdames C. Winston Publishing Company, 1993) Holy Bible. African American Jubilee Edition (New York: American Bible Society, 1995; and 1999) The African Bible (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1999) Felder, Cain Hope, ed., Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991) Matthews, Donald, “Proposal for an Afro-Centric Curriculum” in

Journal of the American Academy of Religion LXII/3 (1994) Baur, John, Two Thousand Years of Christianity in Africa: An African History, 62-1992 . (Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 1994) Isichei, Elizabeth, A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995). Hastings, Adrian, The Church in Africa, 1450-1950. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994) Browne, Maura, ed., The African Synod: Documents, Reflections, Perspectives.

(New York/Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1996). Montet, Pierre, L'Egypte et la Bible. (Ed. Delachaux et Niestlé,1956. Sauneron, Serge, Les Prêtres de l'ancienne Egypte. (Paris : Seuil, 1957) (Paris : Perséa, 1988) Serge Sauneron, The Priests of Ancient Egypt (Cornell University Press, 2000) Harris, J.R. ed., The Legacy of Egypt. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971, 2nd edition)

272

Frankfort, H., Wilson, J.A. & others. The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near-East (1977) De Meester, Paul, L’Eglise d’Afrique d’hier et d’aujourd’hui. (Kinshasa: Saint Paul, 1980) L'Ancien Testament, T.O.B., édition intégrale, Cerf, 1983 Barucq, A. £..., Ecrits de l'Orient ancient et sources bibliques. (Paris: Desclée, 1986) Barucq, A. £..., Scritti dell'antico vicino oriente e fonti bibliche. (Roma: Borla, 1988) Ravasi, G., L'Antico Testamento e le culture del tempo. (Roma: Borla, 199O) Walton, John H., Ancient Israelite literature in its cultural context: A survey of parallels between Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Texts (Library of Biblical interpretation, Regency, Michigan,1989). This is a very important book. RIES, Julien, dir., Le civiltà del mediterraneo e il sacro. (Jaka Book-Massimo, Milano, 1992). LEHMANN Johannes, Mosè l'egiziano nella Bibbia e nella leggenda. (Garzanti, 1987). SERWAT ANIS AL-ASSIOUTY, Jésus le Non-Juif.

(Paris: Letouzey £ Ané, 1987) SERWAT ANIS AL-ASSIOUTY, Origines Egyptiennes du Christianisme et de l'Islam. (Paris: Letouzey £ Ané,1989) TINCQ, Henri, "Un entretien avec Eugen Drewermann : "Le christianisme est une sorte de pharaonisme moderne"" in "Le Monde" (N. 14637, Mardi 18 février 1992, p.2. "Supplément "L'Economie") VOGELS, Walter, Restauration de l'Egypte et universalisme en Ez.29,13-16, in "BIBLICA"(commentarii periodici Pontificii Instituti Biblici), Vol.53, fasc.4, 1972 DUPONT, J., “Béatitudes égyptiennes,” in "BIBLICA", Vol.XLVII, 1966, pp.185-222. LOHFINK,Norbert,Poverty in the Laws of the ancient Near East and of the Bible in "Theological Studies",Vol.52,n.1.,March 1991; pp.34-5O. CAZELLES, Henri, dir.,Introduction critique à l'Ancien Testament, Desclée, Paris, 1973. Xavier Léon-Dufour, ed.,Vocabulaire de Théologie Biblique, 3 eme edition (Paris: Cerf, 1974) (read “Le rôle de l'Egypte dans l'histoire sainte” and “L'Egypte devant Dieu.”) AFRICAN AMERICAN RELIGION AND THEOLOGY Herskovits, Melville J., The Myth of the Negro Past (Boston: Beacon Press, 1941);

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reedited in 1958 and 1990) Raboteau, Albert J., Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978) Baer, Hans A. and Merrill Singer, African-American Religion in the Twentieth Century: Varieties of Protest and Accomodation. (Knoxville:The University of Tennessee Press, 1992) Wilmore, Gayraud S., and James H. Cone, eds., Black Theology: A Documentary History, Volume one, 1966-1979. (New York: Orbis Books, 1979) Cone, James H. and Gayraud S. Wilmore, eds., Black Theology: A Documentary History, Volume two, 1980-1992. (New York: Orbis Books, 1993) The Original African Heritage Study Bible. (Nashville: The Jdames C. Winston Publishing Company, 1993) Holy Bible. African American Jubilee Edition (New York: American Bible Society, 1995; and 1999) Felder, Cain Hope, ed., Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991) Matthews, Donald, “Proposal for an Afro-Centric Curriculum” in Journal of the American Academy of Religion LXII/3 (1994) Cannon, Katie Geneva, Katie’s Canon: Womanism and

the Soul of the Black Community. (New York: Continuum, 1995)

V. THE EGYPTIAN PROBLEM 1854: Frederick Douglass one of the first writers to call attention to the fact that the Egyptians were African and black 1887: E.W. Blyden, Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race. 1954: - George G.M. James, Stolen Legacy (by George G. M. James) - Cheikh Anta Diop, Nations nègres et culture (Paris: Présence Africaine), 1954,1955 1957: Serge Sauneron, Les Prêtres de l’ancienne Egypte (Paris: Seuil). The Priests of Ancient Egypt. Focus on chap.5 Sacred Knowledge. 1967: Cheikh Anta Diop, Antériorité des civilizations nègres: Mythe ou vérité historique? (Paris: Présence Africaine) 1974: Cheikh Anta Diop, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality? Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books

(this book contains English translation of Antériorité and some chapters of Nations nègres. 1971: J.R. Harris, ed., The Legacy of Egypt. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971, Second edition)

274

I could not find the date for the 1st edition. Particularly interesting: Chap 10: “Egypt and Israel” (by Ronald J. Williams): On the Philosophy of religion and the false dichotomy between the Monotheistic religions and ATR. Chap.11: “The Concept of Law in ancient Egypt” (by Aristide Théodoridès): on Political philosophy, Democracy and Human Rights. 1972: Mveng, Engelbert, Les Sources grecques de l’histoire negro-africaine. (Paris: Presence africaine, 1972) 1987: Martin Bernal, Black Athena. Vol. 1: The fabrication of Ancient Greece (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987). 1991: Martin Bernal, Black Athena. Vol.II: The archeological and Documentary Evidence. (FAB, London, 1991) 1991: Davidson, Basil, African Civilization Revisited from Antiquity to Modern time. (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991) *1994: Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. (New York: The Free Press). *1995: Dinesh D’Souza, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (New York: The Free Press). 1996: Mary R. Lefkowitz, Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Become an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. New York: A New Republic Book, BasicBooks, 1996. Mary R. Lefkowitz,ed., Black Athena Revisited. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1996. 1997: Richard Poe, Black Spark White Fire: Did African Explorers Civilize Ancient Europe? Rocklin: Prima Publishing. 1998: Stephen Howe, Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes. London; New York, Verso, 1998 (Paperback in 1999). *1997: Keith B. Richburg, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa. (New York: A New Republic Book, BasicBooks) 2001: Martin Bernal, Black Athena Writes Back. Martin Bernal Responds to his Critics. (Durham, London: Duke University Press, 2001. VI. COLONIALISM, INTELLECTUAL RACISM, AND GENOCIDE

GENOCIDE Appleman, Philip, ed., Thomas Robert Malthus:An Essay on the Principle of Population.

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(New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1976) Part I. Influences on Malthus (David Hume, Adam Smith, Condorcet, …) Part II. Selections from Malthus’s Work (1798 and 1803) Part III. Nineteenth-Century Comment (Darwin, Marx, Engels, ….) Part IV. Malthus in the Twentieth Century Stannard, David E., American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.

(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992) Lindqvist, Sven, Exterminate All the Brutes.

(New York: The New Press, 1996); (First edition in Swedish, in 1992) Hochschild, Adam, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998) Morel, Edmund, Red Rubber. (1910) De Witte, Ludo, The Assassination of Lumumba. (New York: Verso, 2001)

First published in 1999 (en Flamand, and in French) Conrad, Joseph, The Heart of Darkness.(London: Penguin, 1976)

First published in 1902, and in 1910 Conrad wrote this book in two months, finishing in January 1899. He was working as captain of a trading steamer in the Congo in 1890 and 1891, before the rubber boom. The people were then being massacred by the regime of king Leopold II when ivory was still the principle item of trade.

Pakenham, Thomas, The Scramble for Africa. (New York: Avon Books, 1991) Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power.

(New York: Basic Books, 2004); (First publication in 2002 in London) Pui-Lan, Kwok, et al., eds., Empire and the Christian Tradition:

New Readings of Classical Theologians. (Fortress: Minneapolis, 2007)

COLONIALISM Hegel, G.W.F., The Philosophy of History (Read “Geographical Basis of History”) in

Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 43: Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche. (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994)

Hegel, G.W.F., The Philosophy of Right. in

Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 43: Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche.

276

(Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994) Darwin, Charles, The Origin of Species. in

Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 49: Darwin. (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994)

Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man. in

Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 49: Darwin. (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994)

Machiavelli, Nicolo, The Prince. in

Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 21: Machiavelli, Hobbes (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994)

Important sections: Chapters 14-17, and especially chapter 18 Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan. in

Adler, Mortimer, ed., Great Books of the Western World. Volume 21: Machiavelli, Hobbes

(Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1994) (Leviathan, first published 1651) Césaire, Aimé, Discourse on Colonialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972)

First published in French in 1950 Sartre, Jean-Paul, Colonialism and Neocolonialism. (New York: Routledge, 2001)

First publication in French in 1964 (Paris: Editions Gallimard) Van Lierde, Jean, Lumumba Speaks: The Speeches and Writings of Patrice Lumumba,1958-61. (Little, Brown and Company,1972) Nkrumah, Kwame, Consciencism: philosophy and ideology for decolonization and development with particular reference to the African revolution. (London, 1964); New rev. edit. London 1970. Nkrumah, Kwame, Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. (London: Heinemann, 1965). Pakenham, Thomas, The Scramble for Africa. (New York: Avon Books, 1991) Said, Edward W., Orientalism. (New York: Vintage Books, 1994) First published in 1978. Spurr, David, The Rhetoric of Empire: Colonial Discourse in Journalism,

Travel Writing, and Imperial Administration. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993); pp.186-187.

Thomas, Nicholas, Colonialism’s Culture: Anthropology, Travel and Government. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994). Hardt, Michael and Antonio Negri, Empire

277

(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000) Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order

and the Lessons for Global Power. (New York: Basic Books, 2004); (First published in 2002 in London)

Spurr, David, The Rhetoric of Empire: Colonial Discourse in Journalism,

Travel Writing, and Imperial Administration. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993); pp.186-187.

McClintock, Anne, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Context. (New York: Routledge, 1996) Blaut, J.M., The Colonizer’s Model of the World:

Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History. (New York: The Guilford Press, 1993)

Rabasa, Jose, Inventing America: Spanish Historiography

and the Formation of Eurocentrism. (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press. 1993)

Fabian, Johannes, Out of Our Minds: Reason and Madness in

the Exploration of Central Africa. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000);

Fabian, Johannes, Anthropology with an Attitude: Critical Essays. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001)

Thiongo, Ngugi Wa, Decolonizing the Mind. (Portsmouth: Heinemann Publishing, 1981) Coombes, Annie E., Reinventing Africa: Museums, Material Culture and Popular Imagination in Late Victorian and Edwardian England. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994) Cheikh Anta Diop’s decolonization of African History (1954-1981) Diop, Cheikh Anta, Nations Nègres et Culture: De l'antiquité nègre égyptienne

aux problèmes culturels de l'Afrique Noire d'aujourd'hui. (Paris: Présence Africaine 1954; and 1964; 1979 edition: two volumes; 572 pages) Diop, Cheikh Anta , Antériorité des civilisations nègres: Mythe ou vérité historique? (Présence Africaine, Paris, 1967). Diop, Cheikh Anta, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality ? (New York: Lawrence Hill & Company, 1974) (English translation of sections of “Nations nègres et culture” and“Antériorité des civilisations nègres.”) Diop, Cheikh Anta, Civilisation ou Barbarie: Anthropologie sans complaisance. (Présence Africaine, Paris, 1981); 526 pages. Diop, Cheikh Anta, Civilization or Barbarism.An Authentic Anthropology.

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(New York : Lawrence Hill Books, 1991) Part four: “Africa’s Contribution to Humanity in Sciences and in Philosophy” Tempels, Placide, La Philosophie bantoue (Elisabethville: Lovania, 1945) 1949: La Philosophie bantoue (Paris: Présence Africaine) 1959: Bantu Philosophy (First english edition, Paris: Présence Africaine) RACISM 1750-1950: Rise of negative anthropology and the science of racial taxonomies (Triumph of the Hegelian paradigm): Science and Philosophy at the service of colonialism and racism -1735: “Natural System”(by the Swedish naturalist Carl Von Linné. *1756-1797: Kant teaches for 40 years anthropology and comparative geography under the title “Knowledge of the World”. During this period, Göttingen University created in 1734 was establishing the Aryan model in universities. 1831: Hegel, W.F., Philosophy of History. (The book denigrates Africans and African traditional religions)

1853-55: Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines; four impressive volumes by Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau (1816-1882). This “magnum opus” of modern racism served for a long time as the Bible of racist arguments. 1836: Darwin, Charles Robert, “On the Moral State of Tahiti.” (1836, article) 1859: Darwin, Charles, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of

Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. (London, 1859) Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man. (London: 1871) 1910-1930: Lucien Levy-Bruhl’s publications popularize the ideology of “primitive or prelogic mind, primitive people, primitive cultures and primitive religions: 1910: Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés intérieures 1922: La mentalité primitive 1927: L’âme primitive 1931: Le Surnaturel et la nature dans la mentalité primitive 1938: L’expérience mystique et les symboles chez les primitifs 1925: Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf. (Early German editions by Verlag Frz. Eher Nachf, G.M.B.H. in 1925 and 1927) English edition by Houghton Mifflin Company in 1943 First Mariner Books edition in 1999

2001: Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf.

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Translated by Ralph Manheim; introduction by Abraham Foxman. (Boston, New York: A Mariner Book, Houghton Mifflin Company)

Bialas,Wolfgang and Anson Rabinbach, eds., Nazi Germany and the Humanities. (Oxford: Oneworld, 2007) Jones, William R., Is God A White Racist? A Preamble to Black Theology.

(Boston: Beacon Press, 1973, and 1998)

Douglas, Kelly Brown, The Black Christ. (New York: Orbis Boks, 1994, and 2006) Hood, Robert E., Begrimed and Black: Christian Traditions on Blacks and Blackness

(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994). West, Cornel, Prophesy Delivrance: An Afro-american Revolutionary Christianity (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1982) Sartre, Jean-Paul, Anti-Semite and Jew: An Exploration of the Etiology of Hate.

(New York: Schocken Books, 1995) (New York: Schocken Books, 1948, first edition) It was first published in French in 1946: Reflexions sur la Question Juive (Paris: Editions Morihien, 1946)

Joseph Conrad, The Heart of Darkness.(1902; and 1910) McLynn, Frank, Hearts of Darkness: The European Exploration of Africa. (New York: Carroll and Graf Publishers, 1992)

Ellison, Ralph, Invisible Man. (New York: Vintage International, 1995)

First edition published in 1947 Woodson, Carter G., The Mis-Education of The Negro. (Chicago: African American Images, 2000) (The Associated Publishers: 1933; first edition!)

Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) was the 2nd African-American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard university in 1912, after W.E.B. Du Bois. He also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, in the Philippines and in Africa. In 1926 he founded “Black History Week.”

Freire, Paulo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. (New York: Herder and Herder, 1970) Herskovits, Melville J., The Myth of the Negro Past. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1941); reedited in 1958 and 1990) Baker, Houston A., Mantha Diawara and Ruth H. Lindeborg, eds., Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996 West, Cornel, Race Matters (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993; 1st edition) (New York: Vintage Books, 2001; with a new preface)

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Allen, Theodore W., The Invention of the White Race:

Volume One, Racial Oppression and Social Control. (London: Verso, 1994

*Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. (New York: The Free Press, 1994). Jacoby, Russell and Naomi Glauberman, eds., The Bell Curve Debate: History, Documents, Opinions. (New York: Times Books, 1995). Gould, Stephen Jay, The Mismeasure of Man (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1981; first edition). Gould, Stephen Jay, The Mismeasure of Man: The Definitive Refutation to the Argument of The Bell Curve (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1996). This is the revised and expanded version with a new introduction. Montagu, Ashley, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race. (London: Sage Publications, 1997) (Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, 1997, 6th edition Abridged Student Edition) First published in 1942 at the height of Nazism *Dinesh D’Souza, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (New York: The Free Press, 1995). Mary R. Lefkowitz, Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became

an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. (New York: A New Republic Book, BasicBooks, 1996).

Mary R. Lefkowitz, et al., eds., Black Athena Revisited.

(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1996). *Michael Levin, Why Race Matters: Race Differences and What They Mean.

(Westport, CT.:Praeger, 1997). Levin is a professional philosopher who continues the same IQ ideology of The Bell Curve.

Goldberg, David Theo, ed., Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning

(Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1993) Goldberg, David Theo, ed., Anatomy of Racism.

(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,1990)

Dubow, Saul, Scientific Racism in Modern South Africa. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995) Jahoda, Gustav, Images of Savages: Ancient Roots of Modern Prejudice in Western Culture

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(London: Routledge, 1999)

Outlaw, Lucius T., On Race and Philosophy. (New York: Routledge, 1996)

Eze, Emmanuel Chukwudi, ed., Race and the Enlightenment: A Reader. (London: Blackwell, 1997) Harris, Leonard, ed., Racism: Key Concepts in Critical Theory. (New York: Humanity Books, 1999) Lott, Tommy L., The Invention of Race: Black Culture and the Politics of Representation. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999) Bernasconi, Robert, ed., Race: Blackwell Readings in Continental Philosophy.

(Oxford; Blackwell, 2001) Bernasconi, Robert, and Sybol Cook, eds., Race and Racism in Continental Philosophy. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2003). Bancel, Nicolas, et al., dir., Zoos humains: de la venus hottentote aux reality shows.

(Paris: La Decouverte, 2002). Ferro, Marc, dir., Le livre noir du colonialisme. XVIe-XVIIe siecle:

de l’extermination à la repentance. (Paris: Robert Laffont, 2003); 837 pages.

Colas, Dominique, Races et racisme de Platon a Derrida: Anthologie critique.

(Paris: Plon, 2004); 764 pages. Girod, Michel, Penser le racisme: De la responsabilité des scientifiques. (Calmann-Lévy, 2004 Frank M. Snowden, Jr., Black in Antiquity:

Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience. (Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1970) Ter Ellingson, The Myth of the Noble Savage. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001)

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SECTION 5. MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION MAJOR AFRICAN THEOLOGIANS FRANCOPHONE AFRICA

1. Cardinal Malula 2. Tshibangu Tshishiku (Bishop) 3. Benezet Bujo 4. Bimwenyi Kweshi 5. Vincent Mulago 6. John Mbiti 7. Engelbert Mveng 8. Meinrad Hebga 9. Eboussi-Boulaga Fabien 10. Jean-Marc Ela 11. Anselme T. Sanon

ANGLOPHONE AFRICA

1. Desmond Tutu (Bishop, South Africa) 2. Kalilombe (Bishop, Malawi) 3. Sarpong of Kumasi (Bishop, Ghana)

4. John Mbiti (Kenya) 5. Jesse Mugambi (Kenya) 6. Byang Kato (Kenya) 7. Manas Buthelezi (South Africa) 8. Allan Boesak (South Africa) 9. Laurenti Magesa (Tanzania) 10. Charles Nyamiti (Tanzania) 11. Kwesi Dickson (Ghana) 12. John Pobee (Ghana) 13. Mercy Amba Oduyoye (Ghana) 14. Emmanuel Bolaji Idowu (Nigeria) 15. Harry Sawyerr (Sierra Leone) 16. Edward Fashole-Luke (Sierra Leone) 17. Musa Dube (Zimbabwe)

AFRICAN FEMINIST THEOLOGIANS

1. Mercy Amba Oduyoye (Ghana) 2. Musa Dube (Zimbabwe)

AFRICAN INDEPENDENT CHURCHES

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In 1990: 8000 Christian independent churches in Africa, with 30 million members The largest of these churches are found in South Africa, Nigeria, RDC-Congo, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe. They constitute between 10 and 40% of all Christians in various countries, and between 5 and 20% of total population in various countries. The first independent churches emerged in South Africa and Nigeria as a protest against Apartheid within the Church and against colonialism. In general these churches rose in opposition to slave trade (Kimpa Vita in 17th century), colonialism, racism, paternalism, cultural oppression, political oppression, economic oppression, search for health in a colonial system that did not offer adequate healthcare to all, search for freedom (religious, political, and economic freedom) and collusion between European missionaries and European colonial powers in Africa. 1890-1920: Birth of the earliest independent churches in South Africa and Nigeria 1872: First independent church emerges in South Africa 1888: The first independent church emerges in Nigeria CRUCIAL BOOKS DECOLONIZING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT ATR Griaule, Marcel, Conversations with Ogotemmêli:

An Introduction to Dogon Religious Ideas (International African Institute, 1965) Tempels, Placide, La Philosophie bantoue (Elisabethville: Lovania, 1945) 1949: La Philosophie bantoue (Paris: Présence Africaine) 1959: Bantu Philosophy (First english edition, Paris: Présence Africaine) Zahan, Dominique, The Religion, Spirituality, and Thought of Traditional Africa.

(Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1979);

Originally published in French as Religion, spiritualite, et pensee africaines (Paris: Payot, 1970). The book has 10 chapters; the most important are

Chap. 8 on “Ethics and Spiritual Life” and Chap.9 on “Mysticism and Spiritual Life.”

WESTERN SCHOLARS WHOSE RESEARCH CONTRIBUTES SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE DECOLONIZATION OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT AFRICA

1. Basil Davidson (British historian) 2. Martin Bernal (American Professor) 3. Leo Frobenius (German Africanist) 4. Jahneinz Jahn (German Africanist) 5. Johannes Fabian (German Anthropologist) 6. Othmar Keel (Swiss Biblicist, Professor of Old Testament) 7. Jan Assmann (German Egyptologist) 8. Erik Hornung (German Egyptologist) 9. Serge Sauneron (French Egyptologist) 10. Marcel Griaule and Dieterlen 11. Herodotus 12. dd

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MAJOR PROPONENTS OF THE HEGELIAN PARADIGM AND COLONIALIST/RACIST SCHOLARSHIP Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1892) John Locke (1632-1704) ALL AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS IN THE US (According to statistics of 2000) ** 881,300 African immigrants in the United States. West Africans: 37% (326,507) Mostly Nigerians (41.3%) and Ghanaians (20.1%). East Africans: 24.2% (213,299)

Mostly Ethiopians (32.6%) North Africans: 21.6% (190,491) Mostly Egyptians (59.5%) Southern Africans: 7.5% (66,496)

Mostly South Africans(95.6%), mainly Whites and Indians Middle Africans: 3% ( 26,900) Origin not classified: 6.5% (57,607) According to a 2001 U.S. Census Bureau report, 94.9% of these African immigrants age 25 and over have at least a high school diploma, compared with 87% of the American population. Furthermore, the proportion of the 700,000 Black Africans in the United States (as of March 2000) aged 25 and over with at least a bachelor’s degree was 49.3%, substantially higher than the average for the general American population of 25.6%, and other foreign born populations in the country such as Asians (44.9%). For master’s degrees in 1990 (aged 25 and over):

1) Nigerians: 26.3% 2) Iranians: 26% 3) Egyptians: 25.6%

(with Egyptians and Iranians behind Nigerians). Nigerian and Egyptian immigrants in the United States are among the most highly educated groups. According to a 1998 U.S. Census Bureau publication, of over 65 ancestry groups listed, in 1990,

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60.4% and 52.9% of people of Egyptian and Nigerian descent aged 25 and over, had at least a bachelor’s degree respectively. No other single group (English, German, Irish, Italian, Scottish, Dutch, etc.) had 50% bachelor’s degree attainment rate.